Staffordshire Wildlife Trust bought the wetland reserve, situated on the banks of the River Trent near Barton-under-Needwood, from Aggregate Industries at Christmas in 2013 after months of fundraising.
In 2018 quarrying operations ended at the site and the transformation from quarry to nature reserve began. The site has been restored to a nature reserve providing a home for a number of key breading species that specialise in this open wetland environment such as oystercatcher, lapwing, shelduck and common sandpiper.
The Trust is also hoping bitterns will eventually breed on the site for the first time in over a century.
Already the charity has planted reeds, which should expand over several years, eventually forming a large expanse of reedbeds at Tucklesholme which will allow a host of wildlife to thrive. The Trust has also been working with Aggregate Industries to mould and shape the contours of the site to create features such as shallows and scrapes on the northern lake which will provide the perfect habitat for a wide range of wildlife – including bitterns.
The Trust is also creating diverse bankside meadows for insects and butterflies. Pathways for walking, picnics, and informal recreation were installed after the quarrying work stopped in 2018. Depending on funding, more works are planned for later in the year including further footpath creation and a nesting site for sand martins.
Jeff Sim, Senior Conservation Manager for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, said: “We are hopeful of Tucklesholme becoming one of our finest nature reserves and a place for a wide array of wildlife for years to come.
“We have a real hope that Tucklesholme will one day be the breeding home of bitterns – who rely on habitats like reedbeds to breed and thrive.”
For more information on Tucklesholme head to https://www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/explore/our-nature-reserves/tucklesholme
This year is a very special year for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, marking 50 years since the charity was formed in 1969. To celebrate, the Trust has plenty planned to mark the occasion. Visit www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/50yearswild to find out more.