Colnbrook residents’ generosity secures improvements to local nature reserve

Groundwork South and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead are set to benefit from a £35,552 grant from Biffa Award, the multi-million pound fund managed by the landfill operator … thanks to funds from Colnbrook residents.

The Arthur Jacob Nature Reserve, Horton

The Arthur Jacob Nature Reserve, Horton

Groundworks South has been successful in bidding for £35,000 of funding from landfill operator BIFFA for improvements the Arthur Jacob Reserve.

The Arthur Jacob Nature Reserve Reed Bed Restoration project, based in Horton, Berkshire, was awarded funding under Biffa Award’s Rebuilding Biodiversity theme. The project will restore a neglected pond which will provide a water source to the reserve’s patchwork of reed beds and meadow habitat.

BIFFA AWARD_ REBUILD BIO_HI

The reed beds were reliant on an annual top up of water from the nearby Colne Brook but in recent years there has been low flow due to climate change and increasing demands on water supply. The alternative water source from the pond will secure the future of the habitats by reducing the reliance on Colne Brook. Improved access for visitors will also be provided through the installation of viewing platforms and a boardwalk, and interpretation will also be improved, benefitting the 2000 people that visit the site every year.

Arthur Jacobs Nature Reserve is a patchwork of important reed bed and meadow habitat created from a series of derelict sewage sludge lagoons by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in partnership with Groundwork.  The resulting low water levels in the reed beds are allowing bramble, goats rue and willow to encroach and reduce diversity.  There is now an opportunity to undertake restoration works to a neglected pond that would allow an alternative water source to be used and the applicant wishes to undertake tree works and pond restoration works to this end.  Improved access for visitors will also be provided through the installation of viewing platforms and a boardwalk.

Although Biffa made the announcement last September Cllr Ray Angell broke the news at the Parish Council meeting on June 3. He said funding from the Colnbrook Community Partnership had made the award possible:

“The funding that the CCP invested in Groundworks South has resulted in the time allocation being used to successfully secure £35,000.00 from BIFFA for an extensive habitat restoration to this nature reserve on the Stanwell Road.”

Colnbrook residents fund the CCP with a £2,000 annual grant made from funds collected through the precept.

Cllr Eileen Quick, cabinet member for leisure services at the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, said:

“The Arthur Jacob Nature Reserve is a little haven on the eastern edge of the borough. Many thanks to Groundwork and Biffa Award for making this initiative happen and ensuring the reserve continues to be a great attraction to visitors and wildlife alike.”

The reserve is off Stanwell Road, between Horton and Poyle.   Opened in 1996, this reserve has rapidly developed into a haven for wildlife in the local area. It has been created from a series of derelict sewage sludge lagoons, that are being transformed into important wetland habitats by the management of the Royal Borough and partner organisations. It was designated as a Local Nature Reserve in 1999.

While the nature reserve is outside the parish, two thousand visitors to the site annually are expected to benefit from the project, including many from Colnbrook.

 

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