Cash boost to help Balby nature reserve

Frosty Lapwings at Potteric Carr Nature Reserve. Picture: George Stoyle
Frosty Lapwings at Potteric Carr Nature Reserve. Picture: George Stoyle

A WILDLIFE trust has been awarded nearly £25,000 for a thriving habitat project.

The ‘Lapwings on your Doorstep’ project is being headed at Potteric Carr Nature Reserve and is aimed at managing the habitats of common and rare species including ground nesting birds, bats and insects.

The grant of £24,681 for the Balby-based reserve was given by Biffa Award.

Jim Horsfall, reserves officer for Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, said: “The habitat management work includes new grazing areas to improve the grassland, extension and enhancement of woodland habitat, hedgerow renovation and the putting up of bat boxes around the site.

“Potteric Carr is an incredibly diverse haven for wildlife, right on the edge of Doncaster – about as urban as you can get for a wildlife hotspot – and this work will only make it better.”

In addition, funding for some of the work has also been provided through Natural England’s Higher Level Stewardship scheme.

The grasslands at the east end of the nature reserve will be improved to provide the perfect conditions in spring for breeding birds such as lapwing and mammals including brown hare.

This will be achieved through conservation grazing, which means a number of fields require new fencing.

In the Seven Acres Carr area of the nature reserve, part of its wet woodland habitat has already been enlarged, with a mix of both dense woodland stand and open woodland.

The open woodland is packed with possible breeding spots for the rare willow tit, and offers a good habitat for insects and woodpeckers.

The lack of roosting spots for bats is being addressed by fixing 15 new bat boxes across the nature reserve and hedges will be renovated to offer refuge for plants and insects.