By Ian Bushell
News of Southwick Country Park achieving Local Nature Reserve Status reverberated in high places!
BBC Radio Wiltshire contacted the Friends through our webpage, looking to do a short item about the new Nature Reserve during one of their afternoon programmes. Checking diaries it was agreed that Monday (15th) afternoon at just before 5pm, during James Thomas’s programme would suit all. Alison Rasey, from the Council’s Rights of Way and Countryside Team, who has been instrumental during the six or so years we have been striving to achieve Nature Reserve status, and I were interviewed by James. Listen here: our section begins at 2:47
Ali explained why the change from park to nature reserve is so important and what had to be achieved to get there. It is important to be officially recognised, providing Natural England, Wiltshire Wildlife and others with proof of the biodiversity within the park; this is a commitment from Wiltshire Council to safeguard and nurture the park, protect its wildlife and ensure that there is access for all. It was a long struggle but we made it and success is sweet.
“We explained how the park is maintained…”
We then explained how the park is maintained by a combined management of the Countryside Team and the Friends of SCP deciding on tasks to be done. Time was short, some blonde haired bloke from Downing Street was waiting his turn to make a statement, so we didn’t get a chance to say much about any of the wonderful rare and protected species that can be seen in the park. We did plug the webpage and our species lists, though.
Afterwards I spoke with Isabel, in the studio, and suggested that when Covid-19 is settled, BBC Radio Wiltshire comes to visit Southwick Country Park Nature Reserve. We can take them round and show and explain some of our work – that should make for some good programme(s)!