Plans to establish a new wildlife area in Soham have been given a boost thanks to support from East Cambridgeshire District Council.
Soham Town Council has been awarded a £4,600 Pride of Place grant to buy trees, wildflowers, hedging and bug hotels for Drayton Meadows.
The money will also pay for wildlife information boards and a wildlife camera so the community can watch the day and night activity of wild animals and birds via a digital link on the council’s website.
Soham Town Council purchased the 3.25 acre site, located alongside a public footpath which runs behind The Butts, last year.
The town council is in the process of clearing the land of agricultural buildings with the aim of helping existing plants and wildlife, such as bee orchids and yellow rattle to thrive, and encouraging new animals, plants and insects to populate the areas.
When complete, the town council hopes the new site will form part of a green loop around Soham which also includes the town’s five commons, its Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) mainly located at Wet Horse Fen, wetlands and established protected green sites.
Cllr Rosemary Aitchison from Soham Town Council, said: “We are really excited to be working on this project for the benefit of the wildlife in Soham and for local residents. While the area is currently open to the public we have lots to do in terms of enhancing the meadows over the coming months and I hope as many people as possible will get involved in supporting us during this time.
“Soham is already rich in beautiful green spaces and bio-diverse wetlands. The location of the meadows close to the town centre forms a vital piece of the jigsaw when it comes to creating a green loop around the town which will help nature to survive and thrive.”
Lucius Vellacott, Soham South’s District Councillor, said: “I am delighted this really worthwhile project has been awarded a Pride of Place grant. Being able to link up green spaces is vital for supporting biodiversity and this will provide a real asset for the people of Soham. It is already one of the areas I love to visit and I very much look forward to seeing the impact of the improvements over the coming months and years.”
Under its Pride of Place initiative, East Cambridgeshire District Council is making up to £15,000 available for environmentally friendly projects that create, tidy up or enhance somewhere special in local communities.
Applicants must either be a parish council, or a non-profit group or organisation which is either based in East Cambridgeshire or benefits East Cambridgeshire residents.
For full terms and conditions visit the Pride of Place page on the council’s website