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As one of Tewkesbury’s newest attractions, the Nature Reserve is set to become a haven for wildlife within walking distance of the town centre.
The 114-acre site is situated on floodplain and the River Swilgate runs through the middle. A walk around the Nature Reserve reveals the latest improvements in a three-year plan to develop a floodplain and wetland habitat.
This will improve the area for wildlife to flourish, improve the water quality and create a more attractive area for visitors to enjoy.
Already there is a great variety of wildlife to look out for. During a series of surveys, a total of 68 species of bird were recorded. Some were passing through on migration, others like gulls visit it for loafing and feeding, and many more birds use it for breeding. Some UK BAP priority bird species have been recorded on the reserve including cuckoo, song thrush and linnet.
A survey by the Gloucestershire Invertebrate Group found 87 species of invertebrates in the Nature Reserve and during a bat walk the Common Pipistrelle, a Soprano Pipistrelle and a Noctule were recorded.
Work completed to date includes improvements to the River Swilgate to create backwaters and meanders and the installation of reed beds to create the ideal wetlands habitat providing an excellent food source for fish, birds and bats.
The backwaters are particularly beneficial for fish to use the pools for spawning and feeding and they are also a valuable refuge from high flows and predators. The meanders – new and re-shaped bends in the river - improve habitat diversity for fish to reproduce and allow the river to clean itself naturally. The reed beds help clean up, slow down and use water to benefit wildlife such as reed warblers and otters.
Ongoing work will provide dedicated entrance points and signage in addition to bridges and paths to link up all areas of the site.
Main Entrance on Jubilee Way, Walton Cardiff, Tewkesbury
Open all year
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