Nature reserve as big as 40 football pitches being created at secret location near Aylesbury

Stock image of nature reserve
Stock image of nature reserve

A nature reserve the size of 40 football pitches is to be created at a large country estate near Aylesbury thanks to money from developers.

Around 720 kilos of wildflower seed, including Common Knapweed, Yellow Rattle, Bird’s-foot Trefoil, Lady’s Bedstraw, Dropwort and Dyer’s Greenweed have been sown and shallow ponds have also been created to provide feeding areas for wading birds such as Curlew.

However, the location of the reserve is to remain secret as the landowner does not want the site identified.

The money has come from the Berryfields Farmland grant scheme, which sees Aylesbury Vale District Council and the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) working together to protect wildlife in the first off-setting project of its kind in Bucks.

Grants, funded by developers, are being offered to landowners in the Berryfields, Oving and Waddesdon areas for projects that will help minimise the impact of development by creating spaces for wildlife to thrive.

Councillor Howard Mordue, AVDC cabinet member for leisure, said: “97% of our wildflower meadows have been lost over the last century so this is incredibly significant.

“We are showing just what can be achieved if permissions for large building projects can be negotiated to also benefit wildlife.”

Funding for the first reserve was secured more than 10 years ago, before building work was given the green light.

Cathie Hasler, BBOWT’s community wildlife officer for Bucks, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to work in partnership with landowners and district authorities at a local level, and deliver practical conservation measures on the ground that will benefit wildlife on a landscape-scale.

“This scheme demonstrates that if it is well managed and properly scrutinised, development can result in significant net gains to biodiversity.”