Friday, 17 November 2017.

Ward Homes joins forces with Kent Wildlife Trust to help save Ashford’s wild meadows

8 November, 2013

In 2013 Kent Wildlife Trust set up the Ashford Meadows Project to help small landowners and community groups to manage their meadows and grasslands. Now Ward Homes, one of the four partners behind the Chilmington Green development, has pledged to help the project by donating £2,000 in support of the cause.

Meadows and grasslands are some of Britain’s most diverse yet threatened habitats. They are rich in wildlife, landscape character and history, but these habitats have decreased by 97% since the 1930s. This year Kent Wildlife Trust has worked closely with local community groups and volunteers to mow and clear more than seven acres of meadow across five different sites in the Ashford area. With the possibility of continued funding from Ward Homes the project could now continue beyond 2014.

Ian Rickards, Ashford Area Warden for Kent Wildlife Trust, explains more about the project: “Meadows need to be maintained and managed to allow them to flourish. Support from local companies and organisations like Ward Homes will allow us to carry this project on into the future, helping to get more and more areas into good management.”

Changes to land use over the past sixty years have resulted in many meadows and grasslands being destroyed. The traditional forms of grazing needed for healthy meadows and grasslands has been abandoned and diverse wildflower-rich vegetation replaced with monocultures of rye grass. The absence of conservation management and continued ploughing has threatened the meadows and grasslands that remain.

Peter Reed, Project Manager for Ward Homes commented: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with Kent Wildlife Trust and support of its Ashford Meadows Project. Meadows offer a diverse and attractive habitat which supports an array of wildlife and hope that our support can go some way to help.”

In addition to support of the Ashford Meadows Project, Ward Homes also announced its partnership with the British Beekeepers Association earlier this year. As well as plans to provide bee-friendly areas of open space within developments, show home gardens will be designed to demonstrate how homeowners can play their role in helping to save the declining bee population.

The bee project fits in with the Ashford Meadows project, where the summer flowers will be providing essential pollen and nectar for all bee species.

For more information about Kent Wildlife Trust, please visit: www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk