Grantham Journal Big Interview: Go wild to protect nature reserves
Eager to highlight the work of Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, communications officer Rachel Shaw told us what the organisation has been up to in the area recently.
* What are the trust’s main projects in and around Grantham?
Our work in the Grantham area is focused on the nature reserves at Ancaster and our project work in the Lincolnshire Limestone Living Landscape. At Ancaster are Moor Closes – old pasture fields which are mostly low-lying and wet, with a rich, wet meadow and marsh flora, including cuckooflower and meadowsweet. There is the steep sided Ancaster Valley which is one of the finest sites for limestone flowers in the country. The roadside verges at Copper Hill are protected, and the adjoining Duke’s Covert is an old limestone grassland. South-west Lincolnshire is dominated by a large upland area of limestone, and this special geology has created some of the richest grasslands in the country, with up to 40 species of plant per square metre of turf, including national rarities like the early gentian and pasqueflower, and supporting butterflies, glow worms, lizards, skylarks and barn owls.
* Is any particular flora and fauna in the area at risk, and what can people do to help?
The flower-rich grasslands are particularly at risk. Individuals can help in their own gardens by creating small meadow areas and planting wild flowers. Communities can help by establishing wildflower meadows in community green spaces. There is further information on our website, including a document with lots of information about why and how to garden with wildflowers, at www.lincstrust.org.uk/node/5655. Another great local project is the ongoing work at the Londonthorpe and Harrowby Hills and Hollows, owned and managed by the Londonthorpe and Harrowby Without Parish Council. The site has rare plants including wild thyme and common rock-rose. Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust has helped with advice and wildflower surveys. We also organised and supported a National Citizen Service group of volunteers in the summer of 2014.
* How else can people get involved with the trust?
Join our Grantham Area Group - these are groups of Wildlife Trust members that organise local meetings and events, fund-raise and promote the Wildlife Trust locally. Regular newsletters and programmes of events are published and distributed to members. By attending the meetings you can learn about wildlife, the Wildlife Trust and, if you wish, get actively involved. There are also opportunities for children to get involved through our Wildlife Watch groups. For more details on this, ways to help, and to become a member, go to www.lincstrust.org.uk