Help open up a wildlife haven for all to enjoy
Somerset Wildlife Trust is launching a £30,000 appeal to enable local people to enjoy one of the county’s best wildlife and bird watching nature reserves on the internationally important Somerset Levels.
Somerset Wildlife Trust recently completed a four-year restoration project at its Catcott Nature Reserve, in the Brue Valley. Thirty acres of former industrial peat-diggings were restored to create rare wetland habitat which has attracted reed- bed birds including reed warbler and water rail, bittern, bearded tits and marsh harrier.
An outdoor classroom
Catcott Nature Reserve Manager Mark Blake said: “We are so passionate about this wonderful nature reserve that we feel it is really important to open up access to areas that visitors are not currently able to reach, in a way that does not threaten its resident wildlife.
“The Somerset Levels provide some of the best habitat in the UK for rare wetland wildlife from otter to tiny carnivorous sundew plants and it is a bird watchers' paradise. The whole area provides the best possible outdoor classroom for young people to enjoy and learn about nature and we look forward to welcoming more school groups to the reserve.”
The Trust plans to improve visitor access through the installation of a boardwalk discovery trail and tower hide. Establishing a wooden walkway will reduce disturbance to habitats, and open up all-year-round access for visitors to see the site’s resident reed bed birds. From the tower hide, visitors will be able to drink in spectacular views across the fen, and through a canopy of wet woodland to the hay meadows beyond. The hide will also offer the ideal wildlife monitoring station for staff and volunteers.
Make a name for yourself!
The total cost of the project will be £60,000.The Trust has successfully managed to secure £30,000 in grant funding but needs to raise a further £30,000 to complete the project. Every £100 donated will enable the Trust to process and install one metre of boardwalk, but as a special thank you donors giving £300 or more are being offered the chance (on a first come, first served basis) to have their name routed onto the section of boardwalk they have purchased.
To make a donation visit www.somersetwildlife.org/catcott-appeal or call 01823 652400.