Volunteers battle elements to plant 750 trees at local nature reserve which has seen unprecedented visitor numbers during the pandemic
Volunteers at Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s Skylarks Nature Reserve at Holme Pierrepont have planted 750 Trees to improve hedgerows and other habitats thanks to a grant from the Tree Council’s Branching Out Fund.
Regular volunteers and the reserve’s Young Ranger group were joined by family members for a series of socially distanced tree planting sessions at the site which has proved hugely popular as a place to take exercise and connect with nature since March.
Over the course of three days the teams saw a wide range of weather conditions including driving sleet and rain – but all 750 trees were planted, giving the reserve’s wildlife a much needed boost.
Speaking about the sessions, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s Head of Communications Erin McDaid said: “Like many of our nature reserves, Skylarks has proved hugely popular with local visitors during the pandemic, especially during the lockdown periods and as many people have discovered new natural greenspaces on their doorstep. Thanks to the support of the Tree Council and our wonderful volunteers we’ve been able to give the site a bit of much needed TLC.”
As well as absorbing carbon and helping offset impacts of climate change the new trees will provide food, shelter and nesting sites for a wide range of wildlife.
This reserve, created in 1982, is believed to be the first of its kind in the country laid out specifically for the benefit of wheelchair users. Once a commercial gravel pit, this area has been colonised with plants and animals. A range of wetland birds can be seen on the reserve, such as great crested grebe, kingfisher and reed bunting.
The site was significantly expanded in 2014 and now covers 115 acres, providing a vital natural haven, protecting important habitats and access to nature for the 100,000 people who live within 10 minutes of the reserve.
Skylarks Nature Reserve has routes and walks for all, including a 2 mile footpath linking viewing screens and board-walks, situated at prime locations around the site, allowing fantastic views and access to lakes, woodlands, ponds, reed beds, meadows, scrapes and islands.
Details of all Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust nature reserves can be found at nottinghamshirewildlife.org