The Trust have spent the last few months creating a brand new outdoor education area thanks to a £23,210 project funded by The Veolia Environmental Trust through The Landfill Communities Fund.
The reserve is one of Derbyshire’s best places to watch wildlife. Nestled just outside the village of Hilton, it has long been a place where locals have enjoyed peace and long walks – but recently, due to a lack of awareness and facilities at the site, less people have been visiting.
George Bird, project manager at the Trust, wanted to change that, “Hilton Gravel Pits has so much to offer, large pools perfect for bird watching, dark woodland areas filled with rare trees and bursting with fungi, great crested newts in the ponds three types of orchids. We wanted to share it with as many people as possible and reconnect the local community. So, we designed a children’s adventure area where the local nursery and young families could come and explore, discover new things and enjoy playing in nature. And it’s been a real success, the reserve is being used more and more and we had an open day last week which locals attended and got the chance to pond dip and explore.”
The new education area has been complimented by better signage for people who are visiting so they can find their way around the reserve more easily and learn what species live there and why the reserve is so special. Paths and boardwalks have also been improved meaning they are more accessible for prams and people of all mobility.
Veolia Environmental Trust’s grants and operations manager, Lizzie Cooke said, “We’re proud we’ve been able to support this project with a Landfill Communities Fund award. Visitors appear to already be enjoying the improvements The Wildlife Trust has made ensuring that everyone can enjoy this wonderful site now and for years to come."
To find out more about Hilton Gravel Pits Nature Reserve please visit: https://www.derbyshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/nature-reserves/hilton-gravel-pits
To find out how you can volunteer at the reserve to ensure its upkeep, please call 01773 881188 or complete the online volunteer form at: https://www.derbyshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/volunteering-opportunities/practical-volunteering