February 26, 2024


The Government has introduced that the Seasalter Levels, Blean Woods and Wraik Hill Local Nature Reserve will obtain £1,884,900 from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. 

The funds have been awarded to a partnership led by RSPB in partnership with Kent Wildlife Trust and Canterbury City Council and might be used to revive nature at a major panorama scale over all three linked websites.

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a short-term aggressive fund to kick-start environmental renewal while creating and retaining a variety of jobs. The purpose of the fund is to help initiatives which are able to ship and deal with nature restoration, nature-based options and connecting individuals with nature, delivering towards the targets of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, while serving to to maintain and construct capability within the sector.

Seasalter Levels 

Large elements of Seasalter Levels, to the west of Whitstable, have been suffered from a scarcity of applicable administration for many years. Since 2007, the Seasalter Partnership, together with RSPB, Natural England, Canterbury City Council, Environment Agency and Swale Borough Council, has labored arduous to achieve management of the location and develop a nature reserve that advantages wildlife and native individuals.

Redshank, copyright Steve Round, from the surfbirds galleries

However, while the world managed for wildlife has elevated since 2007, a big half stays in poor situation. This funding will allow the partnership to ship giant scale restoration of 228ha of wetland and end the job.  This might be accomplished by putting in new wetland options, together with banks, sluices and swimming pools, and by introducing grazing by cattle. When full this may rework Seasalter right into a wetland nature reserve for a lot of uncommon chook species similar to lapwing, redshank and curlew plus different wildlife, similar to water voles, the shrill carder bee and uncommon dragonflies.

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Blean Woods 

Blean Woods, managed by a partnership that features the RSPB, Kent Wildlife Trust, Natural England and the Woodland Trust, is among the most in depth and essential woodland landscapes in England. Its broad stretch is round 4000ha. It is a stronghold for specialist woodland birds which are beneath menace and holds the most important inhabitants of one of many UK’s rarest butterflies, the heath fritillary.

However, the location is starting to return beneath strain from local weather change, notably a rise in dry, heat summers in Southern England. These modifications may have a huge impact on the wetter elements of Blean Woods, which is able to scale back its worth for bugs; this in flip may have a knock on impact for a lot of woodland birds.

This mission will construct on the RSPB’s experiences at experimental websites in Suffolk and Gloucestershire and can forestall the lack of water that leaves woodland dry in most years. Using the brand new funds, the RSPB and Kent Wildlife Trust will set up options that can scale back the lack of water from the woodland, together with the set up of earth dams and dealing with native individuals to construct and set up pure dams utilizing woodland merchandise.  These actions will gradual water loss and enhance soil moisture and renovate uncommon historical bathroom habitat. The partnership can even selectively open tree cowl and introduce grazing to extend the combo of various habitats in these new moist woodland areas.

Wraik Hill Local Nature Reserve 

Wraik Hill Local Nature Reserve, which is managed by Canterbury City Council in partnership with Kent Wildlife Trust, is a priceless inexperienced hall and wildlife web site offering a direct hyperlink between Seasalter and the Blean. The particular person landholdings have been acquired by Canterbury City Council over the previous 30 years to create the reserve which is comprised of scrub, ponds and species-rich grassland, a uncommon habitat mixture in Kent.  The web site advantages from a Kent Wildlife Trust Canterbury Area Warden.  The web site requires new fences, pond clearance, accessibility enhancements, interpretation and scrub removing to succeed in its full potential. It already holds important curiosity with species similar to nightingale and green-winged orchids discovered there.

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Connecting People and Nature 

The funding can even be used to attach extra individuals to nature via bettering customer entry. This will embrace new entry gates and interpretation at Wraik Hill and new bridges within the Blean to permit individuals to cross streams.  It can even create a various process pressure of over 150 native volunteers and 4.5 FTE new paid jobs. In explicit, the mission will encourage participation from younger individuals and people from BAME backgrounds, of whom there are the next illustration within the native inhabitants than within the wider county.

Alan Johnson, RSPB Area Manager, Kent & Essex, stated: “We are all completely delighted to have acquired this funding and with it be capable of restore nature throughout a big a part of north Kent. It is these panorama scale initiatives which are essential if we’re going to ship the UK’s ambitions for 30% of land protected by 2030. We are additionally delighted that we will give extra individuals from various backgrounds the chance to each become involved with the work and benefit from the outcomes.”

Cllr Ashley Clark, Canterbury City Council’s Lead Councillor for Open Spaces, stated: “While most of us are always reminded of the continuous encroachment of improvement, it’s most reassuring that we’re in a position to each defend and improve in depth tracts of land as wildlife havens and swimming pools of range. As we have now witnessed in each lockdowns, shut contact with the pure world is important to our bodily and psychological wellbeing and if we glance after nature it, in flip, will take care of us. This is completely splendid information and we commend our lead officer Anna Stevens and the RSPB for his or her diligence and dedication particularly as grants like this are topic to huge competitors.”

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Chloe Sadler, Head of Wilder Landscapes at Kent Wildlife Trust, stated: “We are delighted by the information that this mission has been profitable in securing funding from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. This funding will allow transformative motion to revive nature and improve local weather resilience throughout two of Kent’s iconic landscapes and an essential ecological hall between. It can even show massively priceless in strengthening the connection of native communities with their native wild areas, and by cementing partnerships working collectively to ship significant nature-based options to the character and local weather crises, similar to via Wilder Blean.”

Source www.surfbirds.com