Work has started to try to encourage more birds and wildlife at a Fremington nature reserve.

North Devon Council is ‘scraping’ an area of land at Lovell’s Field Local Nature Reserve to form a pond-like area. This will improve the habitat for over-wintering birds and create a natural haven for wildlife.

The term ‘scrape’ is used to describe a shallow pond that forms in a natural low-spot in a floodplain. Scrapes are sometimes dry during the summer and provide off-river habitat for many plants and animals, including frogs and newts. They also provide important feeding areas for adult and young birds.

Executive Member responsible for parks and leisure, Councillor Dick Jones, said: “I’m really excited about this project and will be following the results of the scrape with interest. Lovell’s Field is a beautiful spot and as a designated Local Nature Reserve, it has to be carefully managed to conserve its special qualities.

“Much of the important bird life that is found on the estuary in winter depends on finding food in short vegetation, mud and shallow water. It is hoped this scrape, along with the traditional summer grazing on the reserve we already have in place, will create the right conditions for many bird species for both feeding during the winter and breeding during the summer.”

The work will be completed in the next few weeks, with interpretation boards also planned for the footpath that runs alongside the nature reserve to the Tarka Trail.

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