Adam Henson, farmer and rural TV presenter, officially opened The Parks Trust’s new Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve yesterday.
The Parks Trust has converted 48 hectares of the Great Ouse Valley near Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes into the reserve, with the help of Hanson UK. The transformation of the reserve began with an initial idea 20 years ago, and work began in 2007.
Members of the public who attended were able to meet Adam, take a look around the site, and also join in on a number of fun activities, including guided walks, bird spotting and bug hunting. A real treat for many was the sighting of a Great White Egret, an uncommon large white heron which has only started breeding in the UK within the last four years.
This development of the Floodplain Forest Nature reserve puts Milton Keynes at the forefront of demands both in the UK and internationally to create and restore wetland habitats. The comprehensive restoration project incorporates a variety of elements (such as interlinked channels, shallow pools and gravel islands) to return the area to what it might have looked like more than 5,000 years ago – a wildlife-rich floodplain forest.
In addition, the quarrying that took place as part of the development generated around 686,000 tonnes of minerals, most of which was used to meet local demand.
“The new reserve forms a key part of our long term vision to increase biodiversity in Milton Keynes and make landscapes packed with wildlife accessible to people,” said Phil Bowsher, Head of Landscape Strategy and Development with The Parks Trust.
“We’re very much looking forward to seeing how the area develops over the months and years to come.”