In a time when all aspects of natural systems are under threat of catastrophic change, we question what The Fold can do to help preserve nature and help to mitigate what could be a critical time for our children and grandchildren.
Many people who enjoy a coffee before or after walking their dog around the lake or fields may not even notice that things are changing at an ever-increasing rate. But if one looks at the countryside in our part of Worcestershire, what do we see? We see new houses, new roads and even new bridges. We may also notice that council recycling services and the maintenance of roadsides and hedgerows are fast changing too. Habitats and species are being lost without us noticing, once gone they are difficult to bring back.
So, what can be done at The Fold to retain our natural habitats and wild flowers and animals?
The Fold nature trails offer all our visitors an opportunity to get into the real countryside easily and without a parking fee. Conveniently located close to both Worcester and Malvern, The Fold makes the country accessible to everyone. Unfortunately, although they take walkers close to lakes and rivers and across fields and woodlands, the trails can present some difficulties to those who have specific needs; such as small children, and those that have visual or mobility impairments.
To bring the natural beauty and wild species to the reach of all our visitors we need to gain funding to improve access paths and to provide areas for experiencing some of the flowers and animals in a leisurely way (such as adding seats and observation areas). Funding opportunities exist through many avenues, such as the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Biffa Waste Award scheme and even some charitable funds established to promote just Worcestershire wildlife.
The next step is to put together a plan to put forward to such funding bodies: a simple plan that is aimed at improving the experience of visitors as well as retaining and increasing our already good biodiversity (the range and number of species found). Giving all our visitors better opportunities to see and experience the wildlife and the sights and sounds of the beautiful countryside in Bransford will inevitably improve understanding and therefore respect for what we find around us. Or so I hope!