Growing Our Reserves

Joining up for nature

Fallow Deer at Coldwell by Ann Kitchen

The Problem

All across the AONB, people are linked by roads and footpaths. These allow our food to reach us and mean we can visit friends and loved ones. However these very links are barriers to our wildlife.
Insects and mammals need hedgerows, trees, and flower-rich meadows to provide their safe pathways and food supply. Plants need space and protection to thrive. Birds need hedgerows and trees to nest in and roost safely and fields to forage in.

Intensive farming of both stock and arable crops can damage the health of our countryside. Neonicotinoids damage the bees which pollinate our crops and wild plants.  Cutting hay too early can destroy the fledglings of ground-nesting birds such as skylarks. The cowpats of intensively reared cows are often sterile, killing any insects that seek to use them either for food, or as a nursery for their young. Organically raised cattle seem more contented and healthier and provide a good deal for nature.

Cow grazing on organic pasture in Coldwell Meadow
A contented cow doing her part for conservation on Coldwell Meadow [Photo: Ken Kitchen]

The Answer

The Landscape Trust’s reserves at Coldwell are run organically, making them safe for wildlife. We need to extend them and join them up with other land that is also sympathetically managed. One acre of flower-rich meadow, or bramble and scrub, or mixed woodland is better than none but a 10-acre patch is much more than 10 times more beneficial.

Hoverflies getting nectar from Knapweed [Photo: Ken Kitchen]
Hoverflies on Knapweed [Photo:Ken Kitchen]

If we left nature to run its course all our land would revert to scrub and after a few more years to forest. The diversity that is so important for a healthy biosphere would be lost. We need to manage our reserves making sure that key species such as spiked speedwell and marsh orchids, brown hairstreak butterflies and cinnabar moths, field voles and stoats, lapwings and little egrets can thrive. We also need to make them available to all without damaging the very diversity we want to encourage. All this takes money and time.

Stoat in the AONB [Photo: David Talbot]
Stoats can be seen in Coldwell Meadow [Photo: David Talbot]

Your donations will allow us to grow our reserves both in area, diversity and accessibility.

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Successful Spring Open Days at Coldwell

The May Day Bank holidays saw our Coldwell Horseshoe reserves hosting two contrasting but equally successful events for members of the Trust and the general public. The weather wasn’t its best on either occasion but it did stay (largely) dry and everyone gave every appearance of enjoying their visit.

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Roadside tree work at Coldwell Parrock

On-going tree work at Coldwell Parrock

Anyone visiting or driving past our reserve at Coldwell Parrock can hardly have failed to notice that the Landscape Trust is currently undertaking a considerable amount of work on the trees and shrub growth around its boundaries. This article by our reserves team explains what is happening and why.

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