New wildlife haven could be ‘flagship nature reserve’ for Northern Devon

16:09 28 January 2013

Devon Wildlife Trust staff begin surveying their new nature reserve - the former clay quarries at Meeth, near Hatherleigh.

Devon Wildlife Trust staff begin surveying their new nature reserve - the former clay quarries at Meeth, near Hatherleigh.

Archant

Devon Wildlife Trust has purchased a 150 hectare quarry to transform into a wildlife haven.

A VAST new wildlife haven will be created at the former Meeth Quarry which has recently been purchased by Devon Wildlife Trust.

The trust bought the 150 hectare site with funding from Viridor Credits Environmental Company and individual donors.

Meeth Quarry is a former clay works owned by Imerys, located close to Hatherleigh within the Northern Devon Nature Improvement Area and the North Devon Biosphere.

Matt Boydell, Devon Wildlife Trust’s land manager, said the site housed a variety of different habitats.

“The site is a spectacular, recovering landscape, with vast areas of open water, wet grassland, stone quarry face and woodland,” he said.

“It incorporates six threatened wildlife habitats, supports 18 species of national importance and will provide a haven for a huge range of bird life, making it an excellent winter wildlife-watching destination for local communities.”

The site also contains open water areas used by flocks of foraging swallons and house martins.

“All records to date cover the breeding season, and we don’t yet know what species are present during the autumn migration or over the winter,” said Mr Boydell.

“Meeth Quarry is likely to be an important staging post for Scandinavian and Siberian migrants such as woodcock, fieldfares and redwings.

“There is also considerable potential to manage the wetland and open water areas to benefit snipe and a range of ducks and other wildfowl, making the quarry an excellent winter wildlife-watching destination for local communities.”

There is currently no public access to the site but it adjoins Devon Wildlife Trust’s existing nature reserve at Ash Moor and is adjacent to the Tarka Trail.

Essential infrastructure and access work to open the quarry to the public by the spring will begin with support from Natural England.

Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust’s chief executive said the quarry had the potential to become a flagship nature reserve in the heart of the Northern Devon nature improvement area.

He added: “One that will offer year-round opportunities to see fascinating wildlife and a living demonstration of landscape restoration in action.

“There is still a lot to be done, but we will continue to work hard to secure the funding and resources needed to realize the full potential of this fantastic asset in terms of benefits to both wildlife and the wider community.”

To find out more about Meeth or any of Devon Wildlife Trust 47 other nature reserves then visit www.devonwildlifetrust.org

0 comments

Other News Stories

An artist's impression of how the food and retail area of Anchorwood Bank will look once completed

The fashion retailer will be expanding its presence in the town with a 10,500-square-foot shop

Read more
Yesterday, 11:48
The former Leaderflush Shapland factory in Barnstaple. Picture: Andy Keeble

Oliver Buildings are Grade II listed in recognition of their architectural or historic interest.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00
Aaron Hunt is off to the prestigious Bird College this month.

Marwood teenager is off to top drama school this September

Read more
Thu, 15:57
It was a full house at Torridge District Council's plans committee today (Thursday).

Torridge District Councillors have refused plans for 200 new houses - despite officers recommending Heywood Road plans for approval.

Read more
Thu, 15:22
Westward Ho! teenager Yazzy Chamberlain is releasing an album

Yazzy holding launch event for ‘Silly boys breaking hearts’ on Sunday

Read more
Thu, 14:40
Bideford's Torridge Bridge.

The 82-year-old from Fremington suffered with depression but inquest heard his death came as ‘complete shock’.

Read more
Thu, 14:24
Chelfham Mill. Picture: Nicholas Mutton

Principal says private school will looks to re-register once police investigation is complete.

Read more
Thu, 13:03
Mark and Emma Smale with Imogen and her sister Evie. Picture: Sarah Howells

Friends and family are hoping to raise £9,000 to buy a water therapy unit for young Bideford girl with life-limiting illness.

Read more
Thu, 09:18
This year's festival at Castle Hill was a wet and muddy affair

July’s wet weather left Castle Hill in ‘worst condition for 26 years’

Read more
Thu, 08:05
Angelina and Patrick Montague outside of the new Monty's Caribbean Kitchen restaurant.

New Barnstaple restaurant will bring a taste of the West Indies to Barnstaple.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 6°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition


North Devon's trusted business finder