Pulborough nature reserve continues heathland restoration

THE FINAL phase of restoration is taking place on a Pulborough nature reserve.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in Pulborough Brooks, have always planned to recreate the heathland habitat, attracting specialist birds, insects and plants to the area.

Over the next few months, further areas of conifer plantation will be felled and thinned to allow the heathers and grasses to regenerate and create the conditions that birds like woodlark and nightjar enjoy.

Senior warden Peter Hughes said: “Whilst forestry operations are underway there will be some disturbance and temporary closures to paths.

“But the results from previous year’s work indicate the heather regenerates and wildlife moves in quickly to the newly cleared areas.”

The work that has been done over the past few years has already resulted in a greater variety of wildlife in the aream and the heath has become a much more important feature of the reserve for visitors.

Peter said: “Staff and volunteers have put a huge amount of work into the heathland restoration here.

“It is hugely satisfying that it is paying off.”

Once the main clearance work has been completed, the ongoing management of the heath will include grazing livestock, woodland management such as coppicing and the control of bracken and birch.

The RSPB had no exact date for completion of the restoration but said the project was ongoing.

Heathland is one of the world’s rarest habitats and much of it has been destroyed; West Sussex alone has lost 90 per cent of its heathland since the 1800s.

To find out more about the reserve’s plans, and the work of RSPB Pulborough Brooks pop into the visitor Centre or contact the reserve on 01798 875851.