Scores of new trees and shrubs have been planted at the Walrow Lakes complex in Highbridge as park of a big ongoing project to encourage wildlife and boost the local environment.

A team from Highbridge Angling Association has been led by local environmentalist Joy Russell, with the help of people taking part in community service to complete the latest phase of the project.

Joy says: “The team has embarked on several projects to boost biodiversity including carrying out badger surveys, making bird and bat boxes, creating dead hedges and log piles for reptiles, small mammals and insects. Trees have been planted, grass sowed and wild flower seeds planted, and a ‘no mow’ policy was adopted in some areas.”

The work has received the financial backing of Burnham and Highbridge Town Council, which recently gave a £1,020 grant towards the cost of the plants.

A ‘nature corridor’ is also being created along the fishing lane from the River Brue to the ponds.

Joy says ten trees and 120 bare root natives have been planted around the newly-landscaped Walrow Lakes complex during the latest work, pictured here.

She adds: “Alongside the lane that leads to the entrance where last year a successful ‘No-Mow’ campaign took place, we planted 7 trees that were well established in pots.”

“They are all mainly natives and very beneficial to birds, insects and small mammals. They will also act as a screen to partially hide the new housing development from the residents of Walrow Terrace.”

“Two types of plum, an Imperial Gage and Merryweather Damson, a Field Maple, Crab Apple, Wild Cherry, Whitebeam and Snowy Mespis were all chosen for their nature friendly attributes.”

“These were interspersed with Hazel and Alder Buckthorn, the host plant for the Brimstone Butterfly. The larger trees were staked and all were mulched with wood chippings to prevent weeds competing with their new root systems.”

“A large Bird Cherry Tree, more Hazel and Alder Buckthorn, Italian Alder, Hawthorn, Wild Privet, Blackthorn, Holly, Goat Willow, Elder and Dog Rose bare root plants were planted further in around the edges of the newly landscaped lakes.”

”This will help stabilise the new banks and in years to come form thick scrub, creating shelter and food source for a myriad of small creatures. Also a large number of wild Flag Iris were planted into the banks.”

“The ground is a very heavy clay but the enthusiasm of the volunteers has made it light work and a very enjoyable project.”

“All the plants were supplied by Chew Valley Trees with a well appreciated discount and it was all funded by the Burnham and Highbridge Town Council who gave the Highbridge Angling Association a £1,020 grant for the plants.”

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