Woodside Wrapped Up

(C) Gavin Henderson

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is celebrating the completion of visitor experience improvements at Woodside Farm.

Thanks to a generous grant of £43,189 from WREN Communities Action Fund back in June 2018 the Trust has been able to transform how people use the nature reserve which is the biggest in Derbyshire outside the Peak District National Park.

Kate Lemon who has been managing the project said, “The restoration work has taken meticulous planning and hard work from a team of staff and volunteers. We’ve been able to build steps where there was once a very steep incline which few people tackled, we’ve renovated our wildlife garden with interpretation, benches and feeding stations, added a revamped sculpture trail, installed benches at key locations and ensured the whole site is signposted so people know where they are going and no longer get lost!

Woodside Farm is a popular place, especially now with our Wildside Festival held there each June. With increased footfall, we’ve worked hard to ensure it is more accessible than ever before. Many existing paths have been resurfaced and new paths put in to link features of interest and enable all year access even across wet areas.

Woodside Farm

Woodside Farm sites in the heart of the Erewash Valley, close to the border with Nottingham and next door to Shipley Country Park. It is the hub to the Trust’s conservation grazing herds of Highland cattle and Hebridean sheep and contains a variety of threatened habitats including woodland, hay meadows and wetlands linked to the Nut Brook.

Along with visitor improvements, much has been done to improve the reserve for wildlife, including the installation of many different bird boxes across the site for species such as barn owl, little owl, swift, swallows and house martins. There are now over 6 different types of bat box and a wide range of homes for insects, amphibians and the reserves resident hedgehogs. Some of these homes have cameras fitted too, to allow a close-up experience of wildlife to our visitors.

WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, conservation and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Cheryl Raynor, WREN’s local grant manager says: “It’s wonderful to see something we have funded completed and ready to make such a difference to visitors to the site. WREN is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities, and this is a great example of what can be achieved.”

For more information about WREN funding contact Cheryl Raynor at cheryl.raynor@wren.org.uk or visit http://www.wren.org.uk/

If you would like to know more about Woodside Farm Nature Reserve, including directions, please visit www.derbyshirewildliftrust.org.uk and to book tickets to this year’s Wildside Festival, visit www.wildsidefest.com