Funding helps conservation across Worcestershire
Thursday 16th March 2017
Eades Meadow (c) Paul Lane
Tree surveys, opening up sunny woodland rides, bracken control on important heathland nature reserves and boardwalk repairs to allow access for visitors, contractors and volunteers on a Redditch wetland reserves have all received funding from the Severn Waste Environmental Fund.
Severn Waste Services, who distribute the Fund, is the Council’s waste management contractor based in Evesham. The funding, just short of £30,000, will help to pay for work at Piper’s Hill Common (nr Hanbury), The Devil’s Spittleful (near Bewdley), Ipsley Alders Marsh (Redditch), Pound Green Common (near Bewdley), Tiddesley Wood (Pershore) and Eades Meadow (nr Bromsgrove).
Helen Woodman, reserves team leader for the Trust, explained “We’re absolutely thrilled that Severn Waste Services, through the environmental charity Welcome to Our Future, have been able to fund this series of really important work on several of our nature reserves.
“We’ve got more than 70 wonderful sites across the county and they all take time, effort and money to make them great for wildlife as well as suitable for people to visit and enjoy them.
“The money is already helping us to undertake vital conservation work such as clearing woodland rides to ensure a wide variety of flowers grow that support butterflies and bees.
“It’s also helped us to install new fencing that will allow us to graze sites with sheep and cattle – helping to make sure that vigorous grasses don’t overtake the more delicate wildflowers.”
Practical conservation work
At Piper’s Hill and Dodderhill Common, near Hanbury, work is ongoing to survey the many veteran trees that the nature reserve is known for. The surveys will provide important information about the wildlife species that are supported by the trees and will inform future conservation of the site.
The Devil’s Spittleful is an important part of the heathland network in the northwestern corner of Worcestershire, between Stourport and Bewdley. Funding here is removing bracken, which will allow other plants and wildlife to flourish. Fencing is also being installed to enable the Trust to graze the site more efficiently.
Ipsley Alders Marsh is an important remnant marsh in an urban area of Redditch. Scrub control and grazing are essential for maintaining the diversity of plants and wildlife on the nature reserve. The funding here has paid for an extension to the existing boardwalk that enables contractors, volunteers and visitors to access the site.
Work at Pound Green Common, near Bewdley, has concentrated on controlling the vigorous-growing bracken and birch to maintain diversity on this open heathland.
Tiddesley Wood, on the edge of Pershore, is one of the Trust’s most visited nature reserves and is an ancient semi-natural woodland that is an important habitat for birds, butterflies and woodland flowers. The Fund has helped to pay for coppicing and ride-side management, both of which are essential management tools for improving the habitat and maintaining the biodiversity value of the woodland.
One of four National Nature Reserves in the county, Eades Meadow near Bromsgrove, is a beautiful wildflower-rich meadow with more than 180 species of plant. Conservation work here has included hedge cutting and crown lifting of trees to ensure maximum sunlight can reach the flowers as well the construction of a livestock handling area to facilitate improved grazing, essential to keeping in check the more competitive grasses.
Jim Haywood of Severn Waste Services commented ““Through our contributions to Worcestershire Wildlife Trust we have been delighted to see the improvements that have been made to protect and enhance our local environment.
“I am pleased that our funding has enabled Worcestershire Wildlife Trust to continue their valuable work and to support the numerous volunteers involved in the organisation.”