Herefordshire Wildlife Trust are delighted to have secured funding from the Heritage Lottery and European Regional Development Fund for their project beginning at Bodenham Lake nature reserve this spring.
Bodenham Lake has long been a favourite amongst wildlife lovers and this project is set to create a true wildlife haven at this reserve in the heart of the Lugg Valley. Over two years, the project will focus on key aspects of restoration as well as providing more facilities for wildlife watchers of all ages.
The planned restoration work includes re-profiling areas of the lake’s steep sides, creating shallower banks and encouraging reed bed (Phragmites) to establish. Reed bed habitat is essential for many iconic wetland species including bearded tits, bitterns and reed warblers but is becoming increasingly scarce across the UK. Floating islands will also be launched for birds to nest in safety away from predators while an osprey platform will be erected in the hope that ospreys will stop here during their migration and maybe even breed at the site.
The Lugg Living Landscape Officer, Sophie Cowling, commented: “This is such an exciting project. We have the opportunity to create a fantastic habitat for wildlife and over the coming years we hope to see species such as ospreys and bearded tits breeding at Bodenham Lake.
We will be launching a number of surveying groups to monitor numbers of mammals (including otters), crayfish and other key species and hope to have lots of volunteers involved from the local community and across the county.”
The chances of spotting some of these species will also be increased as a second bird hide, donated by the Herefordshire Ornithological Club, is due to be installed this summer. For younger visitors, a new pond-dipping pool and platform will be created at the reserve which will be available for families and schools to explore pond life at close quarters! There will be events happening throughout the project for people to find out more about how the project is progressing and enjoy this beautiful site.
Last year, Herefordshire Wildlife Trust launched project Go Toads! which saw teams of volunteers helping migrating toads, which were heading to the lake to breed, cross the road near the reserve. This project highlighted the importance of the reserve for wildlife and showed how passionate the local community in Bodenham are about this site.
Bodenham Lake nature reserve is owned by Herefordshire Council and managed by Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, in partnership with New Leaf Sustainable Development Ltd.
More information about the project and how to get involved can be found at: www.herefordshirewt.co.uk/bodenhamlake
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.
About the European Regional Development Fund
The project is receiving funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.