Big changes at Hilton Gravel Pits

Biffa Award have awarded Derbyshire Wildlife Trust over £15,000 to undertake work at Hilton Gravel Pits.

Hilton Gravel Pits a Site of Special Scientific Interest is a haven for wildlife in Derbyshire and is a key link in a chain of wildlife hotspots along the Trent Valley, connecting the North Sea to the Staffordshire moorlands. It is a great location to watch bats, birds and dragonflies and is home to many beautiful species including the common marsh orchid, great crested newts and kingfishers.  Thanks to funding from Biffa Award, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust will be able to carry out a range of habitat improvements across the reserve which will benefit the reserve and wider area for local wildlife.

With high nutrient levels and excess shading of the main lake, algal blooms have become a regular occurrence. Derbyshire Wildlife Trust will rectify this issue though the coppicing and pollarding of bank side trees, reducing shading, allowing for more plant species to grow here.

Areas of reedbeds will also be established on site, hopefully encouraging warbler species to visit the reserve, these reedbeds will also help to filter the water entering the pools.  A number of Tern rafts, kestrel, bird and bat nesting boxes will be also be placed around the reserve, which we hope will encourage nesting and over wintering for the species.

George Bird, Living Landscapes Officer has said “We are delighted with the funding from Biffa Award and are really looking forward to seeing the benefits that will be brought to the reserve and landscape made possible from the funding received.  Hilton Gravel Pits is such a special site for wildlife in Derbyshire and also the Trent Valley, and we are excited to be able to allow the area to release its full potential.” 

Hilton Gravel Pits main pool, Kelvin Lawrence

Hilton Gravel Pits main pool by Kelvin Lawrence