Wildflower meadow set to flourish at East Chevington

Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s ‘Catch My Drift’ project at its East Chevington nature reserve, has received a grant of £7,744 from the Ventient Sisters North Steads Windfarm Community Benefit Fund at the Community Foundation.
East Chevington - Sophie Webster

East Chevington in the sunshine on 13 May 2019.  Image by: Sophie Webster.

The ‘Catch My Drift’ project is working towards the improvement of the land and habitat for people and wildlife on its East Chevington reserve. The 185-hectare reserve on the site of a former drift mine contains lakes, ponds, reed beds, woodland, pasture and arable farming. It is also important to local people who use the site as an area for walking and access to the beach.

The Ventient Sisters North Steads Windfarm Community Benefit Fund allows community groups within a 5km radius of the windfarm to apply for funding of up to £10,000.

The grant will enable the project team to turn a 4.2-hectare area of pasture at the southern end of the East Chevington reserve into a wonderful wildflower meadow. 

Work, which will begin next month, will include the introduction of conservation grazing using Flexigraze livestock to manage the site, together with the installation of new fencing along the field’s southern boundary to contain them.

Local volunteers will be involved in sowing the area with wildflower seed this autumn and identifying wildflower species and surveying the site both before and after works have taken place to record how many species have become established.

Elaine More, Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Druridge Bay Development Manager said: “Our East Chevington reserve is an amazing site for people and wildlife and now, thanks to the support from the Ventient Sisters North Steads Windfarm Community Benefit Fund, we will be able to involve local volunteers in the creation of a wildflower meadow on part of the site.”

Pete Barrett, Senior Programme Advisor at the Community Foundation adds:

“Community benefit funds aim to enrich the lives of local people, and this project at East Chevington is fantastic example of this.

“We’d also like to encourage others to apply to the Ventient Sisters North Steads Windfarm Community Benefit Fund which re-opens for applications on 25 June on the Community Foundation website.”