Five Year Plan

Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group          5 Year Plan: April 2016 to March 2021
Task
Priority
Comments
Rationale





1  Brookfoot Loop
Create recycled plastic boardwalk alongside River Calder, between bailey bridge and path between lagoon and wet woodland.

Construction and materials chosen for longevity, low maintenance and resistance to flood damage [as demonstrated at Fairburn Ings RSPB reserve].
Aim: enhance visitor access; enable wheelchair/pushchair access; protect sensitive areas from footfall; allow passage for  amphibians, invertebrates, small mammals etc.





2. Brookfoot Loop
Install bird hide on lagoon bund, with ramped access from riverside walk.

Metal construction, 10m x 3m, with seating and shutter windows.
Aim: to provide viewing point across lagoon from riverside board walk, with wheelchair access.





3. Brookfoot Loop
Install borehole + pump + solar panel in lagoon area.

Ensure safety for public and protection from vandalism.
Aim: to maintain lagoon water levels throughout the year; to raise pH levels from alkaline to neutral, beneficial for species in and around lagoon.





4. Brookfoot Loop
Re-excavate small pond close to Calder & Hebble canal and provide disabled access.


Aim: ecologically beneficial, provides focal point for people of more severely limited mobility.





5. Brookfoot Loop
Install further bird hide at Newt Corner with wheelchair access.

Metal construction, 10m x 3m, with seating and shutter windows.
Aim: to provide viewing point across lagoon from riverside board walk, with wheelchair access.





6. Brookfoot Loop
Maintain wet woodland area

Include creation of pocket areas of specific habitat.
Aim: ecologically beneficial for species such as woodcock.





7. Tag Loop
Create 2 ponds with dipping platforms, disabled access, safety fencing, benches.

Excavation completed, plans in place for platforms etc. Awaiting funding [Jan 2016].
Aim: maintain water levels year round; enhance habitat; create educational resource.





8. Tag Loop
Commission an ecological survey and a water flow survey of Tag Cut.

Future intervention to be planned in the light of survey recommendations.
Aim: enhancement of habitat; raise awareness of significant historic waterway.





9. North Loop
Install sand martin wall.

Suitable river bank site to be identified taking account of flood damage Dec 2015.
Aim: attract nesting colony of sandmartins.





10. North Loop
Create new visitor centre with workshop and storage area.

This major project may need a separate plan including a clear and sustainable management structure. It will demand collaboration and major fundraising. Desired elements include: 2 storey structure; eco-build specifications eg solar panels and insulation; social and meeting room areas with catering and toilet facilities; workshop and storage space in lower storey. Access for people with disabilities.
Aims: enhance the welcome for visitors to the reserve; enable indoor activities for leisure and education; provide a base for Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group and facilities for other community groups





11. North Loop
Install 2 storey bird hide in bund.

Insulated steel construction, height to enable views in both directions over falling ground from top of bund.
Aim: to enable viewing without disturbance to habitat.





12. North Loop
Improve habitat for ground nesting birds, including a number of “red list” species, by: a] creating a conservation grade barrier to prevent human intrusion into sensitive area ie all of the land south of the bund; b] providing protection for nesting birds from predators.

The whole of the work to landscape North Loop following the re-capping has been planned with conservation in mind. The area south of the bund is now a “scrape area” for ground nesting birds. The design/nature of the barrier to be decided with appropriate consultation. Protection eg pipes and protective frames to be installed. All of this work to be completed outside of breeding season.
Aims: to attract ground nesting species and prevent their disturbance.





13. North Loop
Improve wheelwash newt pond and surrounding area.

The wheelwash contains a large colony of palmate and smooth newts as well as providing a habitat for breeding invertebrates. For these reasons it should be conserved. It is currently unsightly but could be incorporated into improvements to North Loop compound in general without compromising its conservation value.
Aim: conserve current population of the wheelwash; enhance its visual appearance and welcome for visitors; improve immediate impact and educational value for visitors.





14. North Loop
Replant area beneath pylons.

This area has been clear-felled by the power company as some existing trees were interfering with the power lines. Replanting with lower growing species will minimise future problems. Trees will be donated by Woodland Trust and Treesponsibility. Reparation to be sought from power company.
Aim: restoration of protective woodland habitat for wildlife.





15. North Loop
Re-instate Crowther Bridge.

Critically damaged in Dec 2015 flooding, now impassable and will need demolition and rebuild to enable vehicular access to the whole of Cromwell Bottom and North Loop.
Without vehicular access none of the major developments on the reserve can go ahead.





16. Whole Site
Install seating for visitors.

Visitors have asked for a reasonable number of benches at strategic points. Avoid over provision which risks giving the site the feel of a country park rather than a reserve.
Aim: enable visitors to pause and enjoy the reserve; provide resting places for less mobile visitors.





17. Whole Site
Install signage and interpretation boards.

There is an almost complete lack of any signage in the reserve, making it hard for people to gain full value from their visit.
Aim: to inform, educate, also to direct and at times divert people from sensitive areas.





18. Whole Site
Install additional bird boxes, maintain existing stock.

There is a large number of boxes currently in situ. Provision of further boxes of varying designs will attract different species. This is an ongoing programme.
Aims: attract nesting birds, increase number of species, including those under threat; enhance the conservation value of the reserve.





19. Whole Site
Maintain current habitats and visitor access.

CBWG collaborates with the Countryside Service in the maintenance and enhancement of the site. Tasks undertaken during the first 5 years include reed/grass cutting, coppicing, tree planting, trimming and felling, maintenance of wheelchair accessible footpaths, building of steps, bridge, fencing, creation and maintenance of bird feeding area.
Aim: to continue to build on the successes of the first 5 years.





20. Whole Site
Develop use of cabins/toilets while plans for more permanent structures are made.

 The acquisition of the cabin and toilets with licences for their use as a visitor centre has been a major step forward in 2015.
Aim: add value to visitor experience, provide base for CBWG.





21. Whole Site
Continue to bid successfully for grants

During the first five years we have successfully gained several modest grants to support environmental and educational activities. Some of the elements of this plan require a more ambitious approach which could only be achieved via close collaboration and involvement with CMBC.
Aims: to work closely with CMBC and other stakeholders to procure funding to achieve the overall aims of this plan





22. Whole Site
Provide activity days on the reserve for the general public and for school and community groups.

There is a regular calendar of events which will be developed and continued.
Aim: to enhance public education and enjoyment of the site; to provide volunteering opportunities; enhance health and wellbeing opportunities





23. Whole Site
Train additional group members in use of machinery and tools, first aid etc

Only a small number of members are qualified to use strimmers, chainsaws etc. We need to increase the number of qualified users.
Aim: to enlarge the pool of volunteers available on workdays for specific tasks.





24. Ski Lake
Consider seeking an arrangement with the Ski Lake owners to enable limited access for CBWG members only, for birdwatching across the lake.








25. Car Park
Enlargement and improvement of car parking for the reserve.

Need to liaise with CMBC re ownership and management.
Aim: safe management of visitor levels.






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