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Bringing people and wildlife together at Headley Down Nature Reserve

Friday, 06 July 2018

Wildflowers

Angela Jackson lives in Headley Down, near to the Heatherlands estate where we manage many homes. Just a few years ago she coordinated a group of residents to take over a neglected nearby patch of woodland that was overgrown, unkempt, and a frequent victim of fly-tipping. After much hard work, that unloved patch of land is now the Headley Down Nature Reserve and Angela is chair of the trust.

We were really proud to provide some of the funding that made this brilliant project happen and Angela wrote to us to let us know how they’re getting on:

“The Headley Down Nature Reserve Trust is transforming the former landfill site next to the Heatherlands housing estate into a haven for flora and fauna. Thanks to Radian, who provided funding for a Development and Management Plan to be drawn up by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, further grant applications were successful and work on the nature reserve could begin.

“Since becoming a registered charity in 2016, the Trust has made many improvements, including the installation of hard-surfaced and informal pathways, benches, nest boxes and illustrated information boards. A start has been made on planting native-species hedging and volunteers have helped by sowing wildflower seeds and bulbs beside the main path. Work has also begun on a children’s area with a story-telling chair, mushroom stools, den building material and bug hotels, plus more wildlife trails to explore.

“The next major project, the History of the Nature Reserve, will be starting soon. The Trust hopes to find people who remember the Canadian ‘Erie’ Camp that was situated on the site during the Second World War, as well as the post-war occupation of the huts they left behind, and the days of the rubbish tip before the Heatherlands Estate was built.

To make sure this rich history is not forgotten, “National Lottery ‘Sharing Heritage’ funding has been awarded for permanent information boards on site and portable exhibition panels for display at local events and in schools. Anyone who is willing to share their memories about those days can contact the Trust by email or through Radian, who continue to support the good work being done on the nature reserve.”

If you remember the old days of the site, would like to find out more, or see if you can get involved, visit Headley Down Nature Reserve’s website or email headleydownnaturereserve@gmail.com.