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News article created on 2 June 2015

Charity rallies community support for fire damaged wildlife haven

People throughout Worcestershire are being asked to help support the regeneration of the Coney Meadow wildlife reserve, after a devastating fire earlier this year destroyed 75% of the reed bed on the banks of the Droitwich Barge Canal.

We're calling on nature lovers to help the restoration of the reserve by donating to a new fundraising appeal, and are also inviting local wildlife fans to join a top ecologist in a tour of the area on 10 June.

The Coney Meadow reed bed is one of Worcestershire’s most valuable wildlife hotspots, and is home to some of the county’s rarest birds, including grasshopper warblers, water rails, reed buntings and cuckoos. The fire, believed to have been started deliberately, happened at the height of nesting season, and will have had a significant impact on the nestlings making it to adulthood.

Like starting over

The appeal will enable the charity to maintain the red beds’ valuable water supply, ensure that selective grazing continues, as well as replace a popular picnic bench in the reserve, which was also vandalised at the time of the fire.

Dr Mark Robinson, ecologist at the Canal & River Trust, said: “The fire was terrible, both for the wildlife in the reserve and the people who love visiting. By raising a bit of money we can kick start the reserve’s recovery. I’d also encourage anyone interested in wildlife, and the reed bed itself, to join our ecology tour on 10 June.”

Take a tour

The wildlife walk will start at 10am at Salwarpe Church. It’s free and open to all, with visitors advised to wear sturdy footwear.