Funding boost for Yorkshire nature reserve

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A nature reserve is to benefit from a share of £42,000 funding.

Friends of Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) have secured the funding from Biffa Award to provide new and improved pollinator habitat in the AONB and at Otley Wetland Nature Reserve.

Heather Garnett, chair of Friends of Nidderdale AONB, said: “There is national concern over the reduction in insect life and the consequential shortage of pollinators for cereals, orchards, vegetables, etc. As an environmental charity, Friends is thrilled to be able to play a part in reversing the decline through this project.”

Working with local farmers, Nidderdale AONB staff and volunteers, Buglife, Otley Wetland Nature Reserve Trust and the Coronation Meadows team, the Friends will use the money to create a new ‘pollinator pathway’ to link fragments of habitat together along a 10km corridor, which runs from the reserve up the Washburn Valley, and connect into Buglife’s B-Line network - a series of ‘insect pathways’.

This flower rich pathway will support Harrogate District Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species of conservation concern.

Species rich lowland meadow was once a common habitat across Nidderdale AONB, but changes in farming practice have led to a severe decline in habitat area and a reduction in the diversity of surviving lowland meadow habitat.

The two year project will also restore 43.5 hectares of BAP lowland meadow at locations, including sites at the reserve, using seed and hay collected from local donor sites wherever possible.