Anybody walking northern end of the Great Central Way or using the Newton Picnic Site recently may have seen works being carried out to remove scrub and vegetation and wondered what was going on. The answer is a new wildlife site is being created. It’s being funded by Newton and Biggin Parish Council in partnership with Butterfly Conservation with much of the work being carried out by volunteers.
The area north of the picnic site will provide improved habitats for butterflies, including many rare and endangered species. In addition to the scrub clearance, disease resistant elm trees will be planted, along with new hedges.. There will also be large scale planting of wild flowers. Once the work is completed, next Spring, interpretative boards will be introduced so you’ll know what to look out for.
South of the picnic site is a wetland area created some 20 years ago. Unfortunately it’s been neglected since and has become overgrown with many invasive willows and other plants. These will be removed to let in light and encourage dragonflies and reptiles to re-colonise the ponds. A ‘forest walk’ path will be created, which will also encourage a variety of species to make it their home.
It is intended that there will be a formal opening of the site next Spring and that it will be known as the ‘Five Arches Wildlife Site’
If you would like more information on the project or you would like to join the volunteers in carrying out the work, contact Frank Preston or Ian Davis.