Ipsley Alders Marsh needs your vote!

Thursday 24th December 2015

Ipsley Alders Marsh (c) Andy HarrisIpsley Alders Marsh (c) Andy Harris

A nature reserve surrounded by urban Redditch has been nominated as one of the best five nature reserves in the UK.

BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards logoThe Worcestershire Wildlife Trust owned reserve, Ipsley Alders Marsh, features in a public vote run by BBC Countryfile magazine to celebrate the best of our countryside. Ipsley Alders Marsh is one of five nature reserves across the UK nominated by nature writer Simon Barnes.

Andy Harris, conservation officer responsible for the nature reserve, said “We’re over the moon that Ipsley Alders Marsh has been nominated for this national award.

“Ipsley Alders is a bit of a hidden gem. It’s the remnant of a once much larger marsh that was probably owned by Ipsley Court. It was designated as a nature reserve by the Redditch Development Corporation in 1967 and sits between Winyates and Winyates Green.

“It’s a super place for a wildlife walk at any time of the year – from spotting birds like reed bunting, siskin and redpoll at this time of year to hearing cuckoos and green woodpeckers or spotting emperor dragonflies and ringlet butterflies as the year progresses.

“Residents of Redditch should be proud of this beautiful site; don’t forget to vote for it!

Rare peat habitat

Ipsley Alders Marsh (c) Wendy CarterIpsley Alders Marsh is a rare sedge peat habitat that is fed by springs that rise through the clay. As the name suggests, it’s often waterlogged throughout much of the year.

The site is managed as a grazed marsh with small numbers of cattle on site that eat the more competitive plants, allowing more delicate and rare flowers, such as marsh stitchwort, to grow.

The reserve also has a small woodland that is carpeted with bluebells, dog’s mercury and other flowering plants during spring.

Ipsley Alders Marsh woodland (c) Zoe StevensIn his nomination, Simon Barnes described Ipsley Alders Marsh as “Here in the middle of Redditch, surrounded by the sort of houses from which Harry Potter was rescued, lies a semi-hidden and rather reckless expanse of wet woods and grassland.

“Again the context is the thing: wilderness where you least expect it, and where you most need it.”

Worcestershire's nominees

Ipsley Alders isn't the only Worcestershire nomination.  The Walled Garden at Croome, near Pershore, has also been nominated for Best Garden of the Year.

Husband and wife Chris and Karen Cronin, bought the walled garden in 2000, when it was nothing more than an overgrown wilderness with dilapidated buildings. Since then, they have invested an enormous amount of time and money restoring the seven-acre site and its associated buildings to create one of the finest Georgian walled gardens in the UK.

Chris said “We are in to our 16th year now as custodians of the gardens. We have huge plans this year and are working in partnership with the National Trust, Croome to achieve our aspirations.

“We’re humbled to be shortlisted for the Countryfile ‘Garden of the Year’ award; it’s a huge privilege to be nominated after our first year of opening to the public.”

Vital to shout about rural Britain

Fergus Collins, editor of BBC Countryfile Magazine, commented “With increasing pressures on our countryside and wider environment, it’s even more vital to shout about what makes rural Britain so special.

Our annual awards help champion our landscapes, our wildlife and our country heroes.

This year’s nominees represent the best of rural Britain and are exceptional examples of what the UK’s countryside has to offer.”

Voting closes on 31st January – the winners will be announced online in March and will appear in the May issues of the Countryfile magazine.

People can either vote online via the Countryfile website or via post on the form in the Countryfile magazine.

Tagged with: BBC Countryfile magazine awards