Earley Town Council’s Amenities and Leisure Committee recently gave its unanimous support to a proposal for a Lower Earley Local Nature Reserve as put forward by Earley Environmental Group.
The new Reserve would run from The Grove at Shinfield Road to Loddon Bridge on the Wokingham Road. To the north it is bounded by Lower Earley, to the south by the M4 and River Loddon. This area contains a wide variety of natural habitats and would become a ‘Green route’ that is already used by wildlife, giving the route the level of protection it deserves.
The proposal has been submitted to Wokingham Borough Council by the Earley Environmental Group and the Town Council will now write to Wokingham Borough expressing its support for this initiative. The proposal, if accepted by Wokingham Borough Council, would then need to go to Natural England for legal adoption.
The declaration of a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) – a place to learn, explore and play, giving significant mental and physical health benefits – would increase the LNR per head of population for Earley, that currently is only about half what is recommended.
The benefits of the Earley Environmental Group’s proposal are:
- an increase in people’s awareness and enjoyment of the natural environment within walking distance of their homes
- protection of wildlife habitats and natural features close to the urban area; improvement of local quality of life, health and wellbeing
- providing an environment for people to learn about and study nature, including local schools and environment groups
- helping to build relationships with national and local nature conservation organisations
- preserving links with the local community’s past
- providing a great opportunity for people to become involved in managing their local environment
- offering a positive use for land which would otherwise be under the threat of urban development
- making it possible to apply byelaws which can help in protecting and managing the site
In the spirit of Wokingham Borough Council’s 2020 Sustainable Environment Strategy, the Lower Earley LNR will contribute towards the Borough’s sustainable environmental policies aimed at improving the quality of life by respecting the environment, protecting it from the impact of development and growth; so reducing the increasing pressure on limited natural resources and on local biodiversity.