Wood Lane Nature Reserve

Looking for a lovely day out in Shropshire? Well you could do a lot worse that taking a trip to Wood Lane in Ellesmere. 

Now bear in mind when you're packing your picnic that Wood Lane is a 81 hectare industrial site, which combines sand and gravel quarrying, concrete production and (the reason I discovered it in the first place) an active landfill site, waste transfer station and recycling centre.  What is incredible though is that alongside all this is a nature reserve and the wildlife here doesn’t just tolerate the surrounding business activity - it thrives!

Hence twitchers now think of this place as one of the best bird-watching sites in Shropshire.

The local firm who own the site, Tudor Griffiths work with Shropshire Widlife Trust to manage the operation in a way which encourages nature.  As part of the ongoing restoration programme, 15 hectares are now specifically managed to provide a range of wetland habitats.  In particular it’s the shallow water here which is crucial to support wading birds. 

The result is colonisation by breeding pairs of lapwings and little ring plovers plus greenshank, redshank, whimbrel, dunlin, green sandpiper and little stint are all found here.   Viewing hides, picnic tables and all ability access from the car park helps this award winning nature reserve provide a popular public attraction.  In particular (thanks to landfill tax credit funding) a huge effort is made to get hundreds of Shropshire school children to visit the site each year where they can not only learn to appreciate the wildlife but see first-hand examples of geology and waste management to broaden their understanding of the wider environment.

It goes to show that industrial processes and environmental protection need not be at odds with one another.  With the right approach we can create an environment for businesses and the environment to flourish.  Thats whats happening right here in this little corner of Shropshire.

For more information on the nature reserve visit the Shropshire Wildlife Trust webpage.
 

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James Thompson James Thompson

Waste Prevention Officer, Waste Management, Shropshire Council

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