The land around Cotswold Water Park's Cleveland Lakes near Ashton Keynes has been tranformed into a haven for wildlife
A BARREN patch of land at Cotswold Water Park subject to two decades of gravel extraction has been transformed into a haven for wildlife in just three years.
In 2008 Cotswold Water Park Trust received a £55,000 grant from biodiversity fund SITA Trust to create a large bed of reeds at Cleveland Lakes near Ashton Keynes.
Volunteers and staff spent hundreds of hours planting 33,000 reeds by hand in the rough ground.
Since then, the area covered by the reeds has increased a hundred-fold, now covering almost 12,000 square meters.
Wildlife surveys conducted over the summer revealed 121 separate species now call the area home, including birds, bats, butterflies and dragonflies.
Cotswold Water Park Trust managing director Matthew Millett said he was delighted by the way the area had thrived.
“In 2008 Cleveland Lakes was anything but a pretty sight, resembling a battlefield,” he said.
“The funding from SITA Trust and the efforts of our volunteers and staff enabled us to transform this barren and inhospitable landscape into a thriving nature reserve.
“It is a place that I hope will not only be of ever increasing importance for its wildlife but also valued by the people who visit.”