Nature reserves near Southam returning to council management after 40 years with the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust
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The WWT has carried out habitat and estate management at Ufton Fields Nature Reserve and Stockton Cutting on behalf of the council under an agreement since 1980.
Both agreements expired in early 2023 and from May, WCC’s country parks and green spaces service will take over.
WCC also looks after other sites including: Kingsbury Water Park, Hartshill Hayes Country Park, and Ryton Pools Country Park.
Ufton Fields Nature Reserve, located between Ufton and Harbury, is a former limestone quarry that has re-naturalised, and now provides habitats for various wildlife species.
The site was gifted to WCC in 1972 and was classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 1973.
The classification was granted due to the variety of invertebrates, including dragonflies and butterflies. The location is also important for orchids, most notably the man orchid, which is rare in Warwickshire.
Stockton Cutting, a smaller SSSI site and former railway cutting that sits approximately one mile north of Stockton, provides a limestone habitat rarely found in Warwickshire, ideal orchids, butterflies, birds and fungi.
Ben Coleman, specialist grasslands habitat ranger at Warwickshire County Council, said: “We are delighted to become custodians of these two fantastic sites as additions to the Warwickshire Country Parks portfolio.
"We relish the opportunity afforded in continuing the good work of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust at both Stockton Cutting and Ufton Fields in managing the unique habitats at these sites, ensuring a lasting biodiversity legacy in perpetuity.”
Karl Curtis, director of nature reserves at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, said: “We are pleased that Warwickshire County Council are in a position to take back the management of the land for wildlife.
"We will continue to support the council in their work at these sites.
"We are incredibly proud of what we and our volunteers have achieved at Ufton Fields and Stockton Cutting and look forward to seeing the work continuing under the council."