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Wildlife Benefits from Skylarks Restoration

Friday 19th December

Wildlife Benefits from Skylarks Restoration

Last weekend an estimated 1000 lapwings were recorded at the recently expanded Skylarks Nature Reserve. 20 golden plover were also sighted; and bird numbers have been rising steadily since habitat creation work was completed on the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust site.

 

Work involved the creation of approximately 3.5ha of wet grassland and wader scrapes on the western edge of ‘Blotts Pit’ – an area recently added to the nature reserve following a successful appeal. Material excavated (around 60,000m3) to create these features has been used to create shallows, bunds (sub-surface barriers that help to filter sediment and slow down flow) and 3 shingle islands. This work was carried out following 12 months of surveying which identified the lack of habitat for wading birds.

 

“'The fact that so many lapwings have started to use the site so soon after the machines have left site shows the benefit of these habitat creation projects. As the new habitats start to develop we hope that other wading birds will start to use the nature reserve in greater numbers” - Ruth Testa, Wetlands Project Officer, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

 

In addition the Trust has cleared areas of scrub and will be working to improve and extend the reedbed habitats on site. Other tasks to be completed by March 2015 include: 3.2 km of fencing, 1.5km of surfaced footpath, over a kilometre of further paths, 8 viewing screens and two new boardwalks.

 

The work has been made possible thanks to funding of £607,000 from Heritage Lottery Fund, £300,000 received from the Environment Agency, significant contributions from Lafarge Tarmac and Rushcliffe Borough Council and over £90,000 from local donations after the public rallied to purchase the original Skylarks reserve and the additional funds required to save the ‘Blotts Pit’ site when it came up for sale – creating Rushcliffe’s largest nature reserve.

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