Hot on the heels of securing the future of its best-known site – the Attenborough Nature Reserve south of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is calling on the public to help create a ‘beaver paradise’ at by far its largest site – the spectacular Idle Valley Nature Reserve in North Nottinghamshire.
Despite the challenges of national lockdowns, many of the Wildlife Trust’s team working from home and restrictions on our volunteering programme, the past 12 months have seen great progress with wildlife projects at the Idle Valley Nature Reserve, situated off North Road, just two miles from the centre of Retford. One of the largest nature reserves in the region, the site which covers 375 hectares along the west bank of the River Idle from which the reserve takes its name, is already a SSSI of high wildlife value, but has huge untapped potential for the restoration of nature at a bold scale.
The charity is seeking to raise £250,000 to support the introduction of beavers, the expansion of its grazing programme with traditional breeds of cattle and other habitat improvements across the vast site as part of its wider efforts to secure nature’s recovery.
Speaking about the project Chief Executive Paul Wilkinson said: “With its vast open skies and abundant wildlife across wetland, woodland and meadows, the Idle Valley Nature Reserve is by far our most exciting site in terms of its potential for habitat restoration. It is already recognised as one of the richest bird-watching sites in the region and we’re determined to make it even wilder and to put it on the map as a truly inspiring wildlife destination. By harnessing a natural process, starting with beavers and expanding our conservation grazing programme, we can begin to unlock the site’s true potential.”