Boosting biodiversity in the Midlands


18 May 2022

National Highways has joined forces with The Wildlife Trusts to launch a new £6 million Network for Nature programme that will improve habitats across England, benefitting people, nature and wildlife.

Boosting biodiversity in the Midlands

Twenty-six biodiversity projects will enhance, restore and create more than 1,700 acres (690 hectares) of woodlands, grasslands, peatlands and wetlands across every region of England.

In the East Midlands, we’re focussing on restoring the Nene Valley wetlands.

Nene Valley is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), which is an area that contains important habitats that are of interest to science. The Nene Valley SSSI is bordered among much of its length by the A45, and wetlands are a great natural solution that can help to filter polluted run-off from roads.

At the north of the site in Tichmarsh, we’re restoring lake edges, ditches and scrapes to create shallower margins and muddy shallows. This will provide habitat for overwintering birds, and we’re hoping these works will encourage breeding waders (such as lapwing and redshank) to return to Nene Valley for the first time in many years.

We’re also funding a four-year project in Summer Leys in Northamptonshire. Highland cattle Tilly, Tia, Tallulah and Tatiana were recently introduced to the nature reserve to improve conservation grazing. Conservation grazing is an effective and natural way to maintain grassland, keeping areas open and creating habitats that are suitable for a wide range of wildlife.

We’ll soon be improving grazing infrastructure by upgrading the cattle pen and installing a cattle bridge, allowing us to implement conservation grazing across a wider area.

Visit the Network for Nature website for more information:

Network for Nature website