Trust’s Highgate Common reserve receives summer splash of colour

Wednesday 4th July 2018

Car parks at Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s Highgate Common nature reserve have received a splash of colour this summer.

Highgate Common, Wombourne, is one of the Trust’s flagship nature reserves and was awarded funds to improve the biodiversity of the reserve through the Pebble Fund, awarded by South Staffordshire Water. This has allowed the Trust to carry out work on the car parks and the site to improve the habitat for the bees and wasps.

Hayley Dorrington, Highgate Common reserve warden, said: “We have used the money we received to create a bund around one of the car parks. This has been covered in a wildflower mix, ideal for the bees and wasps to use as a nectar source through the summer months. You will see splashes of red, yellow and white during the summer with the poppies, Corn Camomile and Oxe eye daisies appearing.

“The work we have completed would not have been possible without the Pebble Fund.. It will not only improve the heathland habitat, it will be enhance the busier car parks we have with colour and become a talking point.”

Highgate Common is a Site of Special Scientific (SSSI) lowland heathland reserve, with over 140 different species of solitary bees and wasps.

It’s not just the solitary bees and wasps that love living on Highgate, the Common is also home to over 5,000 different types of insect including dazzling heathland dragonflies which dart around pools, rare glow worms, countless beautiful butterflies such as the purple hairstreak and white admiral, and many fantastic beetles such as the rare oil beetle, green tiger beetle and bloody-nosed beetle.

Bare earth is vital for the bees and wasps that live on the reserve. They use the sandy soils to mine into, some up to 60cm deep. They lay their eggs in the holes they create and cover them with a small amount of soil. The fund has allowed us to create bare earth patches across the reserve, perfect for the bees and wasps to use.