PLANS are underway to create a new nature reserve in a village in Herefordshire.
The Herefordshire Wildlife Trust received a new nature reserve as a gift from the residents of Weobley, Martin and Julie Peacock, who recently purchased the three meadows adjoining their property.
Mr. and Mrs. Peacock also provided a generous endowment to fund the maintenance and development of the fields which will be known as Weobley Wildlife Meadows.
They now wish to see the lands managed as a nature reserve with the fields managed as wildflower meadows as a legacy for the village and county. The Herefordshire Wildlife Trust has also agreed to plant a community orchard on the site and to create a pond and other areas of wildlife habitat.
The site already has some wildlife value with thick hedges and a number of grasses and wildflowers already recorded in the prairie.
Mr Peacock said: ‘I am delighted that the fields behind Julie’s and my house which we bought last year are now owned by the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, which is committed to converting them to first class wildlife meadows in the country. over the next three to four years. The project manager is Lewis Goldwater, based at the trust’s headquarters in Queenswood, on Hereford Road, just south of Leominster.
Lewis Goldwater, Herefordshire Wildlife Trust Manager, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to create a new nature reserve for the local community in Weobley. We think this site could be great for wildlife and can’t wait to start its restoration. We will be spreading wildflower seeds from other sites to add more species of wildflowers and grasses to the meadow, so that in a few years it should be full of bees and butterflies as well as small mammals. such as voles which in turn are prey for birds such as barn owls which we hope to see here in the future.
“We are going to create a pond in a meadow – vital for wildlife, especially since so many people have disappeared from the countryside in recent decades – and plant a traditional orchard. While the fruits will provide food for humans and wildlife, older trees will provide a range of nesting places for birds and bats and habitat for beetles, which over time will also become a wonderful habitat for wildlife.
The trust aims to complete the restoration work over the next few years, but plans to open the reserve to the public as soon as possible.