Wyre Forest meadow saved!

Friday 1st September 2017

Helen Mackaness nature reserve (c) Harry GreenHelen Mackaness nature reserve (c) Harry Green

An important parcel of land, part of an historic estate, near Bewdley has been saved.

The five acres of meadow, orchard and small woodland has been bought by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust with help from the Helen Mackaness Trust and The Worcester and Malvern RSPB Local Group. The land was once part of the Dowles Manor Estate and was known as Brick-Hill orchard.

Beautiful piece of the Wyre Forest

Helen Mackaness nature reserve (c) Helen WoodmanHelen Woodman, Reserves Team Leader for the Trust, explained “We’re really pleased to have been able to save this beautiful little piece of the Wyre Forest; with a little TLC and sensitive management, it will be restored to its former glory and a haven for wildlife in due course.

“We’re indebted to both the Helen Mackaness Trust and the Worcester and Malvern RSPB Local Group for helping with the purchase. The reserve will be named the Helen Mackaness Nature Reserve in recognition of Helen’s contribution to Worcestershire Wildlife Trust as a volunteer and as a donor.”

Helen had a long-standing interest in wildlife and conservation and was a major benefactor to other conservation causes in her lifetime. The Helen Mackaness Trust also provides support for gifted musicians and artists. The Trust donated £20,000 towards the cost of purchase.

The Worcester and Malvern RSPB Local Group donated £6000 to help Worcestershire Wildlife Trust complete the purchase of the land at a recent auction. The donation is in memory of the late Mike Stephens, a long-standing, generous and influential Local Group member as well as a member of Worcestershire Wildlife Trust.

Rich in wildlife

Pied flycatcher (c) Pete WalkdenThe land has potential as habitat for birds such as redstart, wood warbler, woodcock and flycatchers, all species that are found in nearby areas.

The new nature reserve consists of a mix of habitats from a stand of mature oak trees to an old orchard area with plums, apple and elder, all good for birds and bats.

The grassland has patches of knapweed, betony, bluebell, wood anemone, wild garlic and pignut. The lower part of the reserve is quite damp with plants such as meadowsweet, ragged robin and cuckoo flower. The whole site is perfect for bees and insects.

Priority work will be new fencing, gates and a water supply to enable grazing animals to help with management of the site. The Trust also intends to begin hedgerow restoration, plant new fruit trees and clear some of the scrub to help the grassland bounce back.

The new nature reserve will be closed to the public for the immediate future as restoration work begins.

For further information about the activities of the local RSPB group visit www.rspb.org.uk/groups/worcester

For enquiries about grants from the Helen Mackaness Trust, please contact Rachel Anne Summers 01562 820181 rachel.summers@mfgsolicitors.com

Tagged with: Living Landscapes