130 hectares of poor arable land on West Berkshire’s eastern boundary with Reading is about to be transformed into a mosaic of grassland, wildflower meadow, ponds, wetlands, scrub and woodland, with four kilometres of new hedgerows running through it.
A West Berkshire based not-forprofit social enterprise is acting as the catalyst for major changes in the countryside of West Berkshire. BioCap Limited, founded by Ed Cooper, has been working with Sulham Estate and other partners to create new wildlife habitat, on less productive arable land, to reverse biodiversity loss and mitigate climate change.
Sulham Estate has purchased the first wildflower and grassland seed, with sowing underway in September. The Sulham Woodmeadows project is the first of a series of potential projects that will use biodiversity net gain funding to bring about significant habitat creation.
Henry Scutt, the owner of Sulham Estate, says: “We are excited to be at the forefront of habitat creation and look forward to continuing to work with BioCap to restore nature on the land that we manage. Together, we are creating a large new area of high-quality wildlife habitat that we hope will be of huge value to our local community.”
Ed Cooper, the founder of BioCap, says “Sulham Woodmeadows is a great start for us and our efforts to reverse biodiversity loss. This project will not only increase biodiversity and store some carbon but will create a long-term countryside haven that a great number of people living nearby can walk through and enjoy for years to come”.
BioCap has been working with West Berkshire Council, Berks Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT), North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre (TVERC), Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment, Action for the River Kennet ,and landowners in the West Berkshire Natural Solutions Delivery Partnership to plan how nature based solutions, such as tree planting and meadow creation can be linked into the planning system to create and enhance new habitats that support a diverse range of species.
For further information contact Ed Cooper – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed will be talking at West Berkshire’s Natural Environment MeetUp group on 3rd October at 18:30 at the Newbury Corn Exchange - https://www.meetup.com/west-berkshires-natural-environment-meetup-group/ events/295609568/
West Berkshire Natural Solutions Delivery Partnership - https://www.westberks.gov.uk/article/41773/Natural-Solutions-Delivery-Partnership