Thursday 13th October 2011

Andy Bartlett, manager of the Bourton-on-the-Water Co-op, and his team of voluntAndy Bartlett, manager of the Bourton-on-the-Water Co-op, and his team of volunteers (c) Will Masefield/GWT

Midcounties Co-op staff helped local charity, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust with valuable nature conservation work at Brassey nature reserve in the Cotswolds. Co-op staff helped cut back the encroaching hawthorn and hazel scrub and created glades to increase the diversity of plants and insect species.

They also tied the cut hazel branches into bundles, which will soon be used to protect the riverbank at the Trust’s Greystones Farm nature reserve in Bourton-on-the-Water.

The work undertaken is part of the Cotswold Rives Living Landscapes Programme which aims to reconnect healthy river habitats throughout the Cotswolds, and is funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) award of £48,600.

We look forward to doing more work with the Trust!

By working in partnership with local communities, farmers, landowners and business such as the Co-op, the Living Landscape approach aims to restore, recreate and reconnect wildlife-rich spaces in rural and urban areas and save species such as the water vole from extinction.

“By creating all of these microclimates at the edge of the scrub and grassland, it means that the reserve becomes a much more exciting place for wildlife” says Will Masefield, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s Cotswold Rivers Community Wildlife Officer.

“We’re thrilled that the Co-op team came out to help us today; they were so effective and kept smiling despite the scratches, cowpats and steep terrain!”

Andy Bartlett, manager of the Bourton-on-the-Water Co-op, added, “It was great to be able to do our community hours in such a beautiful area, and although we’ll ache in the morning, it was very satisfying to see the fruits of our labours at the end of the day. We look forward to doing more work with the Trust!”

Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said, “By getting everyone involved in conserving and learning about Brassey nature reserve, we can help ensure that our local natural heritage will be valued and protected for many generations to come.

The range of activities supported by this project will give opportunities to people across the community to explore their precious local environment.”

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s Brassey Nature Reserve in Lower Harford boasts a species-rich limestone grassland and a nationally important spring-fed wetland, for which it has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The grassland plays host to a wide range of rare plants and the butterflies that are associated with them, including small and common blues, brown argus and the rare Duke of Burgundy.

Corporate or group volunteering, teambuilding and days out can be arranged with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust by contacting Beth Adams on 01452 383333, or emailing 


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