Substation scheme could see surge in wildlife

By Ian Dipple Friday 25 April 2014 Updated: 25/04 08:53

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Buy photos » Will Willison, contractor/neighbour, Pete Oliver, grazier/neighbour, Chris Plester, from the National Grid and Caroline Corsie, Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, took part in the hedgerow replanting. (s)

ELECTRICITY bosses are hoping to see a surge in wildlife as part of a scheme to enhance farmland surrounding a Feckenham substation.

National Grid has been working with Worcestershire Wildlife Trust to replant hedgerows and install bat, bird and owl boxes at the site which is home to small meadows, woodlands, hedgerows and a lake.

Surveys carried out over the winter by volunteers from Butterfly Conservation revealed the land around the substation is also of great importance to the nationally rare brown hairstreak butterfly.

More than 200 young hedge plants including dog rose, field maple, hawthorn, blackthorn, honeysuckle and some old varieties of apple and plum have been included in the hedge which has been double fenced to protect it from livestock.

Future work includes importing local species-rich hay to spread on the existing grassland, pollarding the willows and further fencing.

Caroline Corsie, grasslands and agriculture officer at the Trust, said: "This is a really great partnership that offers a win-win situation for both wildlife and National Grid."

Chris Plester, environmental sustainability advisor at National Grid, added: "Replanting the hedgerows at Feckenham will give bats, birds, butterflies and owls a place to call home on the site of our substation.

"Feckenham sits within the Wildlife Trust’s Living Landscape action area and we’re keen to ensure that our management of the site makes a positive contribution to the activities of the Trust too."

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