Vandalism at popular city-edge nature reserve

Staff at Herefordshire Wildlife Trust have been devastated by damage to gates at Lugg Meadow Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Hereford. Gates around the site have been removed or damaged over the past few weeks which will take a significant amount of time and money to replace.

Lugg Meadow is a Lammas Meadow owned by a number of people and organisations of which Herefordshire Wildlife Trust is one. Over the winter months (after ‘Lammas Day’ on 1st August) local residents with Commoners’ Rights graze livestock on the meadow. Fences and gates are therefore vital to keep the sheep and cattle safe and off the road.

Reserves Officer for Herefordshire Wildlife Trust Pete Johnson said: “this vandalism really is devastating. Lugg Meadow is a large space, heavily used by the public and we try hard to keep it in the best condition possible for both people and wildlife to benefit. This will set us back a long way and we will have to work hard to raise the funds needed for the repairs.”

Lugg Meadow is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its particular flora and fauna. The snake’s head fritillary flowers attract many visitors each spring while otter, kingfisher and many species of damsel and dragonfly can be spotted seasonally too. This year, the Herefordshire Ornithological Club and Herefordshire Wildlife Trust began a project to conserve the few remaining pairs of curlew, an increasingly rare wetland bird, which still arrive to breed on the site each year.

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust carry out much of the management work for wildlife at the meadows but are looking for more volunteers to form a regular group based at the site. The group would be able to help with more litter picking, path clearance and encouraging dog walkers to pick up dog mess which can be harmful to both livestock and wildlife. For information, contact Pete Johnson: p.johnson@herefordshirewt.co.uk

Gate lying damaged at side of path