Trust aims to connect islands of wildlife

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MEMBERS of the Wildlife Trust in south Northants were told how a long term project to connect isolated habitats could be extended to their district.

On Monday Kate Carver from the Cambridgeshire office of the regions Wildlife Trust spoke to Towcester members about her role as the Great Fenland Project Manager.

The Fendland Project is the trust’s flagship project in the Living Landscapes Scheme. It recognises that a patchwork of wildlife friendly areas does not allow free movement of animals. While some areas are rich in resources birds may have to cover vast tracts of intensively farmed land, where insecticides kill off food sources.

The trust’s second Living Landscapes project is already underway in the Nene Valley, but with the threat of increasing development in south Northants the trust is hoping to one day extend the scheme to cover areas like the Yardley Whittlewood Ridge which forms the back bone of the district.

Heather Ball, the trust’s Nene Valley Project Manager said: “That’s the really obvious area to start. We’ve got a lot of patches of ancient woodland and parkland habitats, a lot of which is very valuable in wild life terms and a good opportunity to connect together.”

Where land cannot be purchased in order to connect smaller areas, the trust works with land owners to create wildlife corridors. But Ms Ball said the project is not just about connecting places, it also about avoiding the creation of new barriers.

She added: “And there are a few threats to the area, the impact of wind farms is officially classed as temporary, but they could form a barrier between some woodland areas.”

Monday night’s talk end a season of monthly guest speakers which begins again in September. Instead of entertaining a guest speaker Towcester WT will visit the Brick Kiln reserve in Stoke Bruerne next month, and in July they will visit Bay Tree Cottage in Farthingstone near Daventry to see how a landscaped garden can be developed with wildlife in mind.

For more information, or to register with the nearest WT group , visit www.wildlifebcn.org.