Herefordshire Wildlife Trust have launched a fundraising appeal to purchase land at Oak Tree Farm which lies below Dinmore Hill, sloping down to the banks of the River Lugg. This 30 acre grassland site has amazing potential as habitat for wetland wildlife but will also act as another stepping stone for wildlife along the Lugg Valley linking the fantastic Bodenham Lake Nature Reserve to the east with Wellington Gravel Pits, one of the best places for wetland birds in the county, to the south.
Currently, the grassland site includes an ephemeral pool beside the river and a natural spring. he Trust plans to enhance these features as well as creating shallow pools and areas of reedbed - a nationally scarce habitat. They also plan to establish areas of wet grassland close to the river and restore the meadows on drier land, bringing back wildflowers, bees and butterflies. The site will particularly benefit key wetland wildlife including curlew, oystercatcher, snipe, lapwing, otter and barn owl.
The Trust’s Lugg Living Landscape Project Officer, Sophie Cowling, said: “Herefordshire Wildlife Trust have been working to improve the Lugg Valley for wildlife since 2015. We’ve worked with over 60 farmers to improve wildlife habitats and reduce pollution and have completed many improvements on the nature reserves in the valley such as Bodenham Lake and Lugg Meadows. This incredibly exciting project will see the Lugg Valley established as a flagship area for wetland wildlife within Herefordshire and the Marches region. Public support to achieve this vision is vital – please donate today and be a part of creating a wilder Herefordshire!”
The Trust is aiming to raise a total of £200,000 and have already raised over £107,000 through grants and public donations.