Fluttery Funding Boost for Somerset Wildlife Trust
26th September - Wessex Water has provided funding to the Somerset Wildlife Trust for their Blackwater and Brown hairstreaks project.
As part of their Biodiversity Action Plan since 1998 Wessex Water offer funding to practical conservation and research projects across their region.
Dave Jones, regulatory scientist from Wessex Water said: “We’re really pleased to be able to support such a positive project which will benefit both water quality in one of our rivers and support a declining butterfly species.”
The funding will be used to make improvements to the Jan Hobbs Nature Reserve on the Blackdown Hills.
Improvements will include the renewal of damaged fencing along the Blackwater Stream, resurfacing an access track and desilting a pond.
The money provided will also support the cattle which graze on the reserve and reduce pollution reaching the stream, along with preserving the habitat for the Brown hairstreak butterfly.
David Northcote-Wright, reserves manager, West Somerset and Blackdowns said: “We are so delighted to receive £2,500 funding from Wessex Water.
“Thanks to this funding we will be able to both protect the Blackwater Stream from silt deposition and better manage the Brown Hairstreak butterfly population at Jan Hobbs Nature Reserve near Buckland St Mary on the Blackdown Hills.
“This special butterfly has undergone a substantial decline over the years due to hedgerow removal and annual flailing, which removes the eggs, so our work to ensure that it has robust habitats and ample Blackthorn, on which it lays its eggs, is absolutely vital to strengthen existing populations and help them grow.”
Wessex Water works with the Environment Agency and local councils to continue to protect and improve the environment and its condition.
They have widely upgraded sewage treatment and reduced the number of pollution incidents from its sewers, typically caused by blockages. As well as reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions, diverting 98% of waste from landfill and initiating ten new schemes to aid wildlife conservation.
The funding they provide to organisations such as the Somerset Wildlife Trust helps both the water and sewerage company and the selected organisation to conserve and improve their environment so that everyone will benefit.
Picture: Philip Precey