Wildgoose Rural Training is looking to the future…
We plan to create a new visitor centre and educational space at Ball Mill Quarry Wildlife Reserve, Grimley, a 42 acre former gravel quarry. Newly designated as a nature reserve, the land is an area of ecological importance due to its range of wildlife and habitats.
We intend that the new reserve will become a centre for learning and support, particularly for adults with additional needs and children excluded, or at risk of exclusion, from school. We also hope to provide public access to the wetland with interactive activities to educate and engage visitors.
There are further plans to establish a Worcestershire heritage orchard, create a unique interactive wildlife experience for the community and take visitors on a journey through the natural history of the county.
This video gives you an idea of what we hope to achieve…
About the site
Ball Mill Quarry reserve is situated on the glacial terraces of the River Severn and was settled in the Bronze Age, and farmed until the twentieth century before the sand and gravel was extracted.
Following partial re-instatement of the land surface, we now have 6 acres of formally intensively farmed land for the small holding and 32 acres of habitat in what were the bunded settling areas for water used to wash and grade the sand and gravel. This is now a mixture of open water, reed bed and scrubby woodland upon which we have begun work to restore the wildlife habitat and install duckboard walks.
The River Severn is a few hundred meters to the east: the site lies on an important migratory bird route and has had teams of volunteer bird ringers operating here for about 25 years. Grimley Brook forms the southern boundary flowing through a patch of remnant ancient woodland.
This site is not currently accessible to the public, but it has huge potential – geology, ecology, migrating birds, ice age fossils, bronze age history, industrial archaeology, peace and quiet, therapeutic horticulture, care farming, habitat restoration and biodiversity enhancement.
We’ve already begun work on clearing the new site and are now demolishing our pole barn, ready to remove it to the new yard…