Natural England, in collaboration with the Carstairs Countryside Trust (CCT) has announced today multiple extensions to the internationally important Lower Derwent Valley National Nature Reserve (NNR) near York.
Coinciding with World Wetlands Day today (2 February 2021), the extensions will increase the NNR by almost a third from 466 hectares to 602 hectares.
Ian Carstairs OBE, who founded CCT in 1989 as a rapid response organisation for conservation, was delighted that the Trust could support the government’s national drive to protect and build back nature:
The Lower Derwent Valley, with its ancient traditionally-farmed hay meadows, is of international importance. The reserve and surrounding privately owned and farmed meadows, known as Ings, stretch for some 12 miles along the river Derwent and the Pocklington Canal. The reserve offers crucial areas of sanctuary and freedom from disturbance to large numbers of breeding and wintering birds. Lying remarkably close, and partly within the City of York, its amazing wildlife spectacles can be enjoyed throughout the year around the Valley at key visitor locations including at North Duffield, Wheldrake and Thorganby.
Describing the Lower Derwent Valley as a unique historic landscape, Natural England’s Senior National Nature Reserve Manager, Craig Ralston emphasised the international significance of the area and the privilege of having such an exceptional and easily accessible area for those living on its doorstep.
Nature Reserve Manager, Craig Ralston added: