Tice's Meadow Nature Reserve
Quarry Life Award Win
A group of local volunteers in Badshot Lea are celebrating having won second prize and a cheque for £2,200 in an international conservation competition.
The Tice's Meadow Bird Group constructed a Biodiversity Trail at the Badshot Lea nature reserve as their entry into the 2018 edition of the Quarry Life Awards - a biennial competition run by Heidelberg Cement which showcases the best conservation, research and community projects conducted in their quarries around the world.
|Andy Duncan of Hanson Presents the Award to Richard Seargent & Richard Horton
The Biodiversity Trail is a 1.5 mile long circular self-guided walk around the site, taking in a cross-section of habitats and conservation projects, and represents a £10,000 investment in infrastructure on site, to provide for both visitors to site and the site's wildlife.
|The Biodiversity Trail & Site Map
The volunteers installed 16 waymarker posts to guide visitors along the trail and 6 benches for visitors to rest on and enjoy the views. Signs were installed at each site entrance, containing a map of the site and the site rules and contact details. The main site entrance also got a large combined map and noticeboard unit as well as a large sign on the main gate. Six interpretation panels have been installed along the trail route, educating and engaging visitors with the site's wildlife and history.
|An Interpretation Panel
A Woodland Bird Feeding Station was built by the volunteers using timber salvaged from the recent traveller incursion and fly-tipping. The bird feeders have proven popular with both the local birds and visitors to site, with the viewing screen having had to be extended twice to accommodate the number of users.
|Visitors at the Woodland Bird Feeding Station
An innovative Swift Tower, with nesting space for 11 pairs of endangered Swifts, was erected in the meadow on an 8m tall telegraph pole, donated and erected by Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks. The Swift Tower has an ingenious solar powered calling device, which will play Swift calls during the breeding season to attract the first new tenants.
|The Swift Tower
Pupils from Badshot Lea Village Infants School painted 30 wooden butterflies and dragonflies which have been displayed along the trail. A number of bug hotels were built by the cub scouts from 2nd Aldershot and 5th Farnborough packs, whilst Duke of Edinburgh students from Badshot Lea helped build a hibernacula for hibernating reptiles.
A site leaflet has been designed and printed, and handed out to visitors and displayed in local tourist information points. The leaflet contains a large site map, details of how to get to site, contact details and information about the site's wildlife.
Community engagement activities have taken place for local groups including: Bells Piece (Leonard Cheshire Disability), Surrey Bird Club, Farnham U3A, Milford U3A, Badshot Lea Village Infants School, 12th Farnham (Wrecclesham) Cub Scouts, 2nd Aldershot Cub Scouts, 5th Farnborough Cub Scouts, Aldershot, Fleet & Farnham Camera Club and Rushmoor Borough Councillors.
|Pupils from Badshot Lea Village Infants School and the QLA Judges
Following consultation with disabled visitors and “Birding for All”, the trail was designed to start and finish at an accessible RADAR gate and the benches were spaced along the route at the recommended intervals to cater for visitors with limited mobility. Wheelchair user level viewing slots were added to the woodland feeding station screen, and the interpretation panels and benches were positioned so as to be useable by wheelchair users.
|Distinguished Guests on a New Bench
The project was funded with generous seed funding from Hanson, which attracted further grants from the National Lottery's Big Lottery Fund and the Surrey Bird Club. Logistical support and donations of materials were gratefully received from SSE Networks, P.C. Landscapes and Advanced Tree Services.
Tice's Meadow Bird Group Chairman Richard Horton said “the Biodiversity Trail has been a massive success, with increased numbers of visitors to site, increased visitor satisfaction recorded, more new habitats created for the site's wildlife and a welcome increase in the recording and reporting of site biodiversity. We believe we have succeeded in our mission of “connecting the quarry with the local community” and crucially, we have attracted a number of new volunteers to our group”.
"We are so grateful to Hanson and Heidelberg Cement for inviting us to enter the Quarry Life Awards, and for recognising our volunteers' efforts with a generous cheque. I'd also like to thank the National Lottery players who have helped fund this grant through their playing of the National Lottery. And finally, this project would never have happened without the sterling efforts of our volunteers who have achieved a massive amount of good work over the past year."
|The Certificate, Trophy & Cheque
Our final QLA report: link
Our final QLA presentation: link
For more information about the Quarry Life Awards: www.quarrylifeaward.co.uk