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Friday, December 11, 2009

Nature Reserve. Fivehead Arable Fields.

These two photos, which I took in 2006 show a general view of the Trusts nature reserve known as Fivehead Arable Fields. They were the subject of a recent appeal for funds. I 'm pleased to post a copy of a news release from SWT because its a reserve in our Area and our committee contributed to the appeal. Its very satisfying to see such a good result and its good for our Group too. Please read the press release below.

08 December 2009

The Trust saves rare flowers near Taunton

One of the most significant collections of nationally rare cornfield flowers will continue to bloom in Somerset thanks to SITA Trust and Somerset Wildlife Trust members.

Fivehead Arable Fields is home to rare and beautiful flowers coating an area of more than 10 football pitches. It is because these rare flowers coat the entire 10 hectare site, rather than just at the field edges which is more typical, that Fivehead Arable Fields is unique and designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI.)

The project to protect the fields and increase the amount of rare flowers is supported by a £10,908 grant from SITA Trust and an appeal to the Trust’s members saw donations pour in.

Somerset Wildlife Trust Reserve Manager Emma Daniel said: "The SITA Trust grant and donations from our members means we can secure the future of this rare habitat to preserve the rich variety of plants and animals that thrive there.”

Rachael Fickweiler, Regional Fund Manager for SITA Trust said: “We were delighted to offer this funding to enable Somerset Wildlife Trust to make a real difference to this amazing habitat and are very happy to hear that our donation helped kick start the Trust’s funding campaign.”

Fivehead Fields are extremely vulnerable and home to nationally scarce flowers including broad-leaved spurge, spreading hedge-parsley and slender tare. Skylarks, grey partridge, the great green bush-cricket and brown hare are amongst the animals that call this rare habitat home and it is hoped barn owls may also be attracted back.

The money given by SITA Trust and donated by members will enable Somerset Wildlife Trust to:

  • Instigate a two-year cultivation regime to extend the range of the rare cornfield flowers.
  • Carry out detailed survey and monitoring to ensure that the management regime is achieving the right results.
  • Install an interpretation panel for visitors to raise awareness of the value of the rare habitat.
  • Improve site security through the installation of a field gate.

Meg Tyler, Volunteer Reserve Manager for Fivehead Arable Fields, said: "The rare flowers at Fivehead are extremely vulnerable and the money will help us to protect them and encourage wildlife to the fields.”

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