Floodplain Forest and Nature Reserve
The Parks Trust implemented the first phase of public access infrastructure at the Floodplain Forest site at Manor Farm, Old Wolverton. The new paths and bird hides provide a set of easy access routes for visitors. Wildlife is flourishing at the site in abundance and the wetland is fast becoming a popular spot for bird watchers.
On Thursday 25th August 2016 the site was officially opened to the public by Adam Henson, farmer and rural TV presenter.
The Floodplain Forest is a 48 hectare (120 acre) habitat creation project made possible by extracting gravel and sand reserves from beneath an area of agriculturally improved grazing land.
Floodplain forests are complex habitats which include water channels, ponds, grasslands and scrubland as well as woodland. Natural floodplain forests are now a rare type of habitat.
The mineral extraction from the site was undertaken by Henson UK. It began in 2007 and was completed in 2013. The supply of minerals was valuable towards meeting local demand.
The post-extraction restoration scheme has created a mosaic of water channels, pools, marshy areas and islands. These are becoming colonised by wildlife and will develop into a diverse ecosystem providing habitat for many different species.
Since its creation, the newly remodelled landscape has been flooded from the River Great Ouse several times. This is an important feature of the habitat and is beneficial to flood management because the project has increased the holding capacity for the floodplain.
The Nature Reserve is owned and will be managed by the Parks Trust for the local community and visitors to experience and enjoy the new landscape and the wildlife it will attract.
The income The Parks Trust received from the sale of the minerals from the site is held in a special fund for use only on the Nature Reserve, including the provision and upkeep of the public access facilities. You can find out more on the Parks Trust's website