Tuesday 5th March 2019 – Somerset Wildlife Trust is delighted to share the news that it has received a grant of £16,584.45 from National Grid through their Community Grant Programme to support long term habitat management and scrub clearance at Westhay Moor National Nature Reserve. SWT’s project, ‘Power to Grow’ involves large scale removal of scrub and selective tree thinning which will improve ground light conditions across a variety of specialist habitats, encouraging biodiversity on a wider scale on this very special reserve.
Scrub cutting and removal is both labour and time intensive, and burning as a means of disposal, represents a potential health and safety risk due to the flammable nature of the peat base layer on the reserve. The grant from National Grid has enabled the reserve team to purchase an amazing wood chipper which will dramatically save time, enabling staff and volunteers to focus on other habitat restoration tasks. The wood chippings can also then be used to improve visitor access to the site, keeping the footpaths dry and accessible to the public.
Westhay volunteers will also be trained to use this equipment safely and effectively, to make optimum use of the machinery, and also give them the time and opportunity to get involved in other practical habitat restoration projects.
Mark Blake, Senior Reserves Manager, Levels and Moors for Somerset Wildlife Trust said, “Having the right equipment is vital if we are to maintain and restore the quality of the habitats across this SSSI Nature Reserve in a cost-effective way. With the right equipment, we can literally do so much more work, which will have a huge positive impact on the biodiversity of the site and ensure that the thousands of visitors who come to the reserve can experience and enjoy a huge variety of incredible wildlife all year round. Thank you to the Foundation for choosing to invest in our wetland habitats and ensure they can be enjoyed for generations to come.”
For interviews and further information please contact Kirby Everett on 01823 652413 or email: or Beccy Willmetts on 01823 652414 or
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Images are attached for use with this news release. They are granted on a one-time use basis, in association with this release and the photographer must be credited. More images available on request.
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About Somerset Wildlife Trust – www.somersetwildlife.org
Somerset’s wildlife is part of what makes living, working and visiting the county so special. Somerset Wildlife Trust has been protecting vulnerable wildlife and preserving Somerset’s wild places for over 50 years and, with over 19,000 members, is the largest conservation charity in the county. Alongside our members and volunteers we work year round to protect wildlife, transform landscapes and put nature back into people’s lives.
Our reserves holding of over 1700 hectares incorporates a diverse range of habitats from wetlands to woodlands, grasslands and meadows, and provide secure environments for a diverse range of wildlife such as Dormice, Otters, Hedgehogs, Barn Owls and many other species - as well as providing safe havens for some of Somerset’s most iconic species such as Bittern and Large Blue butterfly. These habitats also connect green spaces across the county so wildlife can travel, and are the bedrock upon which we are able to deliver key conservation programmes across the year.
The majority of our work is made possible through the support of our members and people who live and work in the county who choose to make donations, fundraise for us or leave generous legacies. By working together with our members and supporters we really can make a difference.