Rain doesn’t dampen spirits on a Walk for Wildlife in aid of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust

Thursday 5th October 2017

Walk for Wildlife Walkers by Paul CooperWalk for Wildlife Walkers by Paul Cooper

Around 70 hardy walkers completed the 12.5-mile ramble through the Lower Lugg Valley last Saturday on Herefordshire Wildlife Trust’s first fundraising walk.

Walkers aged from 11 to 80 laced up their boots and set out from Lugg Meadow on the edge of Hereford in warm autumnal sunshine last Saturday on a ramble along the Lugg Valley. The route crossed riverside pastures, followed old drover’s roads and footpaths, looped though farmland, took in the villages of Sutton St Nicholas, Marden and Bodenham and finally ran through Dinmore Woods to finish at Queenswood Country Park & Arboretum.

The walk raised just under £1,000 through registration fees, sponsorship and donations which will all go towards supporting the work that the Wildlife Trust carries out on its 55 nature reserves across Herefordshire.

The local community gave the event fantastic support with landowners allowing the route to pass through normally private land and volunteers helping as stewards along the route, undaunted by the midday showers.

The walk also aimed to showcase the conservation work that has been taking place throughout this landscape as part of the Lugg Living Landscape and Lugg Wetland Gem projects to protect the river from erosion and pollution and create habitats which allow wildlife to thrive.

Despite unfavourable weather conditions for some of the day there was still wildlife to be spotted including late-flowering wildflowers and some butterflies and dragonflies still on the wing. At Bodenham Lake, project officer Sophie Cowling had a couple of non-native signal crayfish on hand to explain the damage they are doing within the river system and how the Trust is working to control their numbers. Sophie commented: “The walk was a great way to explain how landscape-scale conservation works – people can experience for themselves exactly how the landscape flows between different habitats and the challenges wildlife might face within that landscape.”

The Trust’s Anastasia Calder commented: “This is the first time we’ve run this type of event and we’re really pleased with how it went. It was a great turn-out and we’ve had really lovely feedback from the walkers.”

All funds raised will support Herefordshire Wildlife Trust’s work across its 55 nature reserves and Herefordshire’s landscapes.