Tag Archives: nature reserve

Horses help out at Fosse Meadows nature reserve

Horses help out at Fosse MeadowsA traditional technique to remove timber from woodland using horses is taking place at Fosse Meadows nature reserve, near Sharnford.

Horse extraction, a process rarely used nowadays, involves sympathetically extracting timber from forest or woodland, in consideration of the sensitive nature of the wildlife.

Unlike mechanical equipment, horses are light, quiet and manoeuvrable, minimising damage, avoiding compaction to the woodland floor, and producing no exhaust or noise pollution.

The horses are being used at Fosse Meadows in order to protect significant trees in the Arboretum, and to have the least amount of impact possible on the wildlife, such as otters that are visiting the site.

Stuart Freeman, a qualified horse logger, will be carrying out the work using his two horses Breeze and Queenie.

He said:

“Horses have been employed to pull timber from forests and woodland in the UK for centuries, but this declined after the Second World War due to rising costs of labour, and an increasing demand for timber led to the mechanisation of extraction.

“Whilst mechanised systems have reduced the direct cost of forestry operations, the potential damage it can inflict on woodland resource and the environment has become an important issue.

The horses are both trained to work in all aspects of horse extraction and we operate a range of implements.”

The work is taking place from Wednesday 12 November and is expected to take around a month.

All the timber from the site will be used locally.

For more information, and to find out about volunteering opportunities at Fosse Meadows, contact James Poynton, Green Space Engagement Officer at Blaby District Council.
Email:  james.poynton@blaby.gov.uk or call 0116 272 7704.

Local nature reserve named one of the best in Britain

Glen Parva Nature ReserveGlen Parva and Glen Hills Local Nature Reserve has been named one the best parks and green spaces in the country.

It is among a record-breaking 1,476 places to receive a prestigious Green Flag Award by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.

The national award recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces in the UK.

A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.

Located in Glen Parva, the site is home to a wide range of wildlife, providing a ‘green route’ into the city and a peaceful place for people to walk and keep fit.

The 12 hectare site contains a fantastic mosaic of wildlife habitats from ponds and meadows to woodland and hedges.

It is home to an array of wild flowers and animals such as green woodpecker, meadow pipit, dragonflies and bats.

With footpaths across the whole site it’s a real gem right on our doorstep and is there for everyone to explore.

The site, which is close to the Grand Union canal and near Dorothy Avenue Playing Field, is protected from development. The wildlife and natural features are therefore preserved.

It contains unimproved grassland habitat, which is part of what was once a country-wide network of hay meadows and unimproved pasture.

Councillor Sheila Scott, portfolio holder for Health and Leisure Services at Blaby District Council, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Award for the first time at this site.

This award recognises and highlights that people in the Blaby District are benefitting from a green space of the very highest quality.”

Jan Martin, Chair of Glen Parva Parish Council, said:

“This is a jointly owned site and we owe the Glen Parva team of volunteers a debt of gratitude.

The whole site has never looked better and I want to thank Andy Jackson and Sam Village of Stepping Stones for all their help and advice over the last few years, which has culminated in this fantastic achievement.”

The site benefits from the hard work of local volunteers.

The work of the volunteers includes traditional methods of managing woodland such as coppicing, tree planting, path maintenance and wildflower planting.


If you would like to become a volunteer please contact Glen Parva Parish Council on 0116 277 1450.

The nature reserve is owned by Glen Parva Parish Council, Leicester City Council, and Blaby District Council, who together have developed a joint management plan to help improve the site.

To find out more about Keep Britain Tidy and the Green Flag Awards visit www.keepbritaintidy.org

Download a file mapping and describing the Nature Reserve. [PDF, 1.7 Mb]

Nature Reserve Photos [Download from Glen Parva Parish Council website]

View Google Map