Restoring heathland

A TWO-YEAR project has been launched to help restore a rare and under-threat type of habitat at Mansfield’s Strawberry Hill Heath Nature Reserve.

Lowland heath is a landscape characterised by heather, Scots pine and birch trees, and home to important species like the nightjar and common lizard.

With cash from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust wants to educate people about the value of this precious habitat and carry out restoration work.

The trust’s education and community manager Karen Bennett says many people living near the reserve, which is close to the town’s Oak Tree Lane estate, will be surprised to find such a precious habitat on their doorsteps.

“This is an exciting project which is partly about restoration of the habitat and also educating people about its heritage as part of the greater Sherwood Forest landscape,” Karen said.

Lowland heath is important globally because of its rarity and one fifth of the total habitat is found within the UK.

Its loss has been particularly high in Nottinghamshire with more than 90 per cent lost since 1800.

Karen says a project officer from the trust will be delivering an education programme for youngsters from schools.

“We hope to create a lasting legacy of value to the community by educating young people and the wider community,” she added.

The programme aims to help connect a new generation to the value, history and future of their local landscape.

To make these hopes a reality, the trust wants to recruit of group of local teenagers who will form a committee to shape and guide the project.

For more information on the project email the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust at info@nottswt.co.uk