New nature reserve at Weobley for Herefordshire Wildlife Trust

New nature reserve at Weobley for Herefordshire Wildlife Trust

Generous legacy will see a nature reserve created at Weobley for the benefit of local wildlife and the local community.
Four men and one woman stood in a line facing the camera, smiling, in a grassy field with church spire in the background

From left: Lewis Goldwater, Reserves Officer, Herefordshire Wildlife Trust; Charles Overton, Chair, HWT Weobley branch; Julie Peacock; Martin Peacock; Mike Williams, Voluntary Warden, Weobley Wildlife Meadows

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust have received a gift of a new nature reserve from Weobley residents Martin and Julie Peacock who recently bought the three meadows adjoining their property. Mr and Mrs Peacock have also provided a generous endowment to fund the maintenance and development the fields which will be known as Weobley Wildlife Meadows

They are now keen to see the land managed as a nature reserve with the fields managed as wildflower meadows as a legacy to the village and the county. Herefordshire Wildlife Trust have also agreed to plant a community orchard at the site and create a pond and other areas of wildlife habitat.

The site already has some value to wildlife with thick hedgerows and a number of grasses and wildflowers already recorded within the grassland.

Martin Peacock said: “I am delighted that the fields behind Julie's and my house which we bought last year now belong to the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, who are committed to converting them into first class wildlife meadows in the next 3-4 years. In charge of the project is Lewis Goldwater who is based at the Trust's headquarters at Queenswood on the Hereford road just south of Leominster.”

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust’s Reserves Officer Lewis Goldwater adds:

“We are so pleased to have the opportunity to create a new nature reserve for the local community at Weobley. We believe this site could be fantastic for wildlife and are keen begin restoration. We will spread wildflower seed from other sites to add more species of wildflower and grasses to the meadow so in a few years it should be full of bees and butterflies as well as small mammals such as voles which, in turn provide prey for birds such as barn owl which we hope to see here in the future. We will be creating a pond in one meadow – vital for wildlife, especially as so many have been lost from the countryside over recent decades – and planting a traditional orchard. While the fruit will provide food for both people and wildlife, older trees provide a range of nesting places for birds and bats and habitat for beetles so, in time, will be a wonderful wildlife habitat too.”

The Trust aim to carry out the restoration works over the next few years but plan to open the reserve to the public as soon as possible.

Anyone wishing to volunteer at the new nature reserve should contact us at enquiries@herefordshirewt.co.uk 

Details of forthcoming meetings of the Weobley & District local branch group can be found on our Events pages.