Notts Wildlife Trust has been given a grant of £221,560 to transform the value of the local landscape for wildlife at the Idle Valley Nature Reserve at Retford.
The grant, from the WREN Biodiversity Action Fund has already enabled the Trust to create 46 hectares of new grassland habitat and to introduce grazing to other areas through the installation of fencing and corrals to make it possible for traditional breeds of cattle to sensitively graze while preserving delicate grasses and wild flowers and controlling the spread of invasive trees and shrubs.
The latest phase of the project, to construct a new base for the charity’s conservation grazing programme at the Idle Valley Nature Reserve is now underway, meaning that for the first time the Wildlife Trust will have purpose built facilities to help care for its livestock.
The buildings will be used for activities such as lambing the world’s largest flock of purebred Hebridean sheep and to store equipment and feed for its Lincoln Red, Dexter and Longhorn cattle.
Charles Langtree, the Trust’s head of estate management and development said: “The ability to graze our sites over the past 15 years has massively improved the way we manage our nature reserves.”
“It mimics the processes which created the habitat we value today and helps provide a link to the heritage of the landscape.”
“Having these facilities will enable us to develop this more effectively, and help us engage people in the issues around sustainable livestock management including the production of meat.”
“But more than that, this development is part of the creation of grassland which will be used by ground-nesting birds, which have all suffered significant declines in their population numbers over recent years.”
The work will be completed by April.