The Forest meadows project is a joint project between Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.

The Forest meadows project aims to create, restore, enhance and better manage grassland sites covering approximately 170 hectares  focused on 12 sites. It is a three-year programme funded by Swindon Borough Council through developer contributions and other biodiversity grants, and will enhance the management and wildlife of existing grassland areas, including where possible the reintroduction of wildflowers and more traditional management of the meadows. 

This will benefit a range of species, including pollinators such as bees. Grazing animals may also be introduced on some of the sites to improve biodiversity and aid land management.

The project will link in with existing health and wellbeing groups in Swindon to encourage their members to get involved in a wide range of activities, from the sowing and planting of wildflowers through to the biological monitoring of sites for wildlife such as butterflies and moths.

The project will cover 12 meadow and forest sites within the Borough, which together cover more than 170 hectares. Most of the sites are located along the corridor of the River Ray, but the project will also link to other areas including Sevenfields, the Lawns, Wroughton, Highworth, Penhill, Rodbourne Cheney, and WWT reserves with existing meadows.

As part of the project, The Great Western Community Forest and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust have secured an £89,000.00 grant from Network Rail through The Greater West Programme; a biodiversity offsetting scheme that supports the delivery of habitats planting and enhancement projects on 3rd party land for work at Mouldon Hill and Rivermead.

WWT will lead the work in collaboration with SBC, parish councils, and local community groups.

If you are interested in getting involved in the Forest Meadows Project (either surveying and monitoring or more actively managing and creating wildlife-rich areas) or would like more information, please contact Neil at [email protected] or on 07818 045198. Alternatively, join our Facebook group here. 

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