Nature Reserve expanded at Swettenham

Dragonfly at Swettenham c. Claire Huxley

Cheshire Wildlife Trust has been able to expand its nature reserve, near Holmes Chapel through securing the management of an additional piece of land adjacent to the reserve.

The existing Quinta and Swettenham Meadows nature reserve comprises ancient woodland, a network of wildlife rich ponds, scrub and a series of species rich meadows. Together these habitats support an abundance of wildlife including tawny owls, woodland birds, fourteen resident species of butterfly and a number of woodland and meadow plants from common spotted to devils-bit scabious and bluebells.

The additional 10 acres of land in the Swettenham Valley will not only be a benefit to the wildlife of the area but will also provide the possibility for a series of new guided walks and training events through the valley.

Swettenham land c. Adam Linnet

Swettenham land c. Adam Linnet

“It has been a long-term aspiration of the Trust to acquire further land in this area and the fact that it extends our existing nature reserves is really exciting news,” said Charlotte Harris, Chief Executive at Cheshire Wildlife Trust. “This piece of land will enable us to connect our existing nature reserves of The Quinta and Swettenham Meadows, providing us scope to turn this area into one large Swettenham Valley Nature Reserve.”

This land extension supports a diverse range of habitats including ponds, species rich grassland, wet woodland and even a small orchard. “Over the next few weeks our team, volunteers and specialist contractors will be working hard to improve the site for wildlife through pond excavation, scrub removal, invasive species control and reseeding work,” explained Joe Pimblett, Area Manager East at Cheshire Wildlife Trust. “In the future we'll use sympathetic cattle grazing to maintain and enhance the diversity of plant species. This work, in conjunction with that ongoing on our existing nature reserves, will create a haven for wildlife in the Swettenham Valley.”

Cheshire Wildlife Trust has been developing the traditional meadow at Swettenham since 2016. If you would like to support the Trust’s work, you can donate to its Meadows Appeal