Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust highlights urgent appeal for help to raise £45,000
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The charity, which is marking its 60th anniversary this year, needs support to carry out important habitat work at Attenborough Nature Reserve near Beeston, Besthorpe Nature Reserve west of Newark, Idle Valley Nature Reserve near Retford and Skylarks Nature Reserve at Holme Pierrepont. These four sites cover more than 1700 acres – over 50% of the land in the charity’s care.
Over the past 100 years 90% of the UK’s wetlands have been lost and rising temperatures, coupled with the potential future loss of coastal habitats, mean that inland wetlands are more important for wildlife than ever.
Speaking about the appeal, Chief Executive Paul Wilkinson said: “Since our formation in 1963, the protection of wild green spaces has been central to our work and whilst we also care for fine ancient woodlands, meadows and areas of heathland, most of the land in our care is areas of restored gravel pits, where we have been able to nurture nature’s recovery on a grand scale. Caring for such large areas of wetland wildlife presents tremendous opportunities – but also real challenges, which is why we’ve launched our Wetlands for Wildlife appeal.”
Alongside the difficulties of maintaining water levels, the single biggest challenge, shared with all wetland managers, is halting the establishment of trees and scrub in areas of reedbed and wet grassland. If left unchecked on wetland sites, scrub encroachment leads to loss of feeding and nesting areas for wetland birds such as lapwing, redshank and snipe –and ultimately results in fragile wetland areas drying out.
Paul continued: “These wonderful wetland sites have long provided havens for both wildlife and people, but we need support to ensure that they continue to act as refuges for wintering wildfowl such as tufted duck and summer visitors such as sand martin. Through careful management, harvest mice will be given the opportunity to nest in reedbeds and oystercatchers provided opportunities to feed on the sites’ shores come spring.”
Details of how to support the appeal can be found at nottinghamshirewildlife.org/wetlandappeal
The appeal runs until August 31.