The new nature reserve, is 20 acres in size and is situated overlooking Rainow and Bollington. It is host to a mosaic of species rich grassland and scattered scrub making it a haven for pollinating insects and birds alike. A visit to the site during high summer will likely reward you with a bounty of increasingly scarce wildflowers including; devils-bit scabious, betony and, if timed right, the striking yellow and purple flowers of mountain pansy.
This latest edition to Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves compliments existing farmer based projects already established in the Pennine fringe. The Trust remains optimistic that a combination of strategic land acquisition, alongside an expansion in their work with private landowners, will help turn the tide on wildlife conservation in the county.
Adam Linnet, Wild Communities Officer for the Trust, said “We are delighted to have purchased this part of Kerridge Hill and to be able to protect it for both wildlife and the local community. The reason we had our hearts set on this site is the species-rich grasslands it is home to.
99% of species-rich grasslands in Cheshire has been destroyed since the 1950s, so it’s incredibly important we look after the remaining fragments like Kerridge Hill. Thanks to a very generous donation from one of our supporters, we have finally been able to conserve Kerridge Hill for future generations to enjoy.
Now we start the task of managing the habitats on site to allow the expansion and restoration of the fragile grassland community. This will include introducing a sympathetic grazing regime and removing some of the scrub to create ideal conditions for the wildflowers to thrive and expand.
We will be organising events in the future to help local people explore this lovely site and discover wildlife on their doorstep. Keep an eye out for our events guide, our social media pages and website and maybe we will be seeing you in the future on the hill!”
The acquisition of the site comes as the Trust continues to expand the reach of its work in the local area. Recent activities have included creating species-rich meadows in several sites around Macclesfield, reducing flooding in the River Dane and River Dean through Natural Flood Management and tree planting, as well as working with swifts over Macclesfield to help provide swifts with suitable nesting sites.
If you’d like to learn more about the reserve or find directions on how to visit, please visit Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s website: www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/nature-reserves/kerridge-hill