Published on 9th January 2012

Pilley Bridge Nature Reserve

Cheltenham Borough Council has provided funding to carry out conservation work at Pilley Bridge Nature Reserve, Old Bath Road , Leckhampton.

The site is managed by Cheltenham Borough Council’s community ranger service.

Pilley Bridge Nature Reserve, previously part of the old Kingham railway line site is approximately 1km long and contains a number of different habitats including wet woodland and a small clearing.

A five year management plan is being created to carry out the work but in the meantime the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) and the councils community rangers will start work on Wednesday 11 January by removing some of the small self sown trees to let the spring light through and increase the ecological as well as amenity value of the area.

Janice Payne, community ranger: “With the funding we are hoping to carry out some tree work to open up the tree canopy and encourage some of the native tree and ground flora to grow. The work includes removing some ash and sycamore trees which dominate the reserve in the west and create some seating using the timber from the trees.

On the eastern side of the bridge the small clearing area has become overgrown and dominated with brambles and self sown ash. The work will involve clearing the brambles and creating a grassland habitat to encourage insects and butterflies.”

The wet woodland area will continue to provide habitats for species of birds, amphibians and mammals.

The area of natural beauty will be tidied up so members of the public and wildlife can use the area together without harm.