Wildlife plan for Avon island

Published: Wednesday, 01 November 2017

PERSHORE Lock Island on the Avon is to be transformed into a visitor friendly wildlife haven should the public get behind the scheme.

The scheme has been nominated by the Avon Navigation Trust (ANT) for funding in the Aviva Community Fund, which will be decided by public vote at https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-4029 that hopes to provide a sanctuary for birds, bats, mammals on the currently publicly inaccessible Pershore lock island that it dramatically rescued from disaster in the winter of 2015, with wildlife lovers being able to be ferried onto the island.

Avon IslandValuable wildlife resource

Penny Clover, ANT’s Funding and Appeals Director explains:

“The lock site has been in use since 1639 and its adjacent weir, with the separate fish pathway, are critically important, not just in maintaining river levels for both users and wildlife, but also as a key part of the area’s anti-flood control measures. However, the island is a valuable wildlife resource too.”

ANT has been nominated by Worcester-based Sutcliffe & Co Insurance brokers for the Aviva Community Fund, with Director Duncan Sutcliffe commenting:

“By creating an accessible and informative haven, the Pershore Weir Island Wildlife Project will give a reason for the local community and visitors to discover and explore our hidden riverside environment."

Pay for materials

The funding will pay for the materials, while ANT will supply its team to support volunteers to carry out the planting and construction work on the 3230 square metre island.

The aim is to:

• Create a wild-flower meadow and wildlife- friendly garden, attracting pollinators, insects, mammals, bats and birds.
• Build a shelter and hide so that visitors can spot those more secretive river inhabitants.
• Establish a pond and wetland area.
• Plant local Pershore heritage plum trees.
• Build a ‘paddlers path’ for canoe portage around the lock.
• Install information boards about the navigation and animal life.
• Team up with The Angel Hotel at Pershore to run bespoke boat trips for groups and then establish more regular cruises as the project develops.