Innovative grass project takes off
An innovative project to develop grassland in Pershore has started and is hoped to restore traditional hay meadow flowers and plants to the fields around Avon Meadows Community Wetlands and Local Nature Reserve.
Grass cuttings taken from the roadside verge nature reserve network, managed by Worcestershire County Council have been spread across the meadows which it is hoped will bring a new and diverse mix of plants and flowers to the area. Some of the verge nature reserves host beautiful displays of flowering plants like knapweeds and scabious, even rare orchids and by bringing in their seed rich hay, we are hoping to transplant some of that diversity to Avon Meadows.
Liz Etheridge, Wildlife Projects Officer, which I made up! at Wychavon said “We’re really hopeful that this project will work and bring us an exciting new mix of wild flowers to the meadows. Having a good mix really does help the local wildlife, especially wild pollinators which we have in abundance, but we’re always looking for more diversity for the area. We have everything crossed hoping it will work, but we won’t know until next spring/summer at the earliest if it has.”
Avon Meadows Community Wetlands and Local Nature Reserve was created after the devastating floods in 2007. The community wetland was created to help reduce the impact of any future floods that come from too much surface water.
The project to create the wetlands was developed jointly by Pershore Town Council, Wychavon District Council and Worcestershire Wildlife Trust. Out of this partnership project the Friends of Avon Meadows were formed, a local community volunteer group, now a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, who continue to support the management of Avon Meadows and they have had much success at creating a fantastic wetland for everyone to enjoy.
Nestling on the bank of the River Avon, you can find the nature reserve only a 5 minute walk from the town centre and it offers an incredible habitat for birds, waterfowl, fish, kingfishers, butterflies, otters and more.
The reed beds aren’t just great for wildlife, they perform an important function for the town too. The wetlands are fed by a pipe that takes surface water run off from nearby housing which, rather than racing straight into the river, flows slowly through the reedbeds and pools, filtering, cleaning and soaking up the water before it reaches the river.