The New Forest National Park Authority and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust have been awarded £28,000 to improve Landford Bog for rare plants, invertebrates and reptiles.
The nature reserve – the size of 11 football pitches – is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is an internationally rare wet heath and bog.
Now National Grid is funding measures to prevent the bog from drying out, to secure the reserve for cattle which help manage the site for wildlife through their grazing, and to improve visitor access with new kissing gates, and a boardwalk.
Nearly 30 Nationally Scarce invertebrates have been recorded at Landford Bog as well as species that are locally uncommon including the raft spider and silver-studded blue butterfly, and the Nationally Scarce wood cricket. Protected reptiles include common lizard, grass snake and adder.
The reserve is a refuge for rare plants including heather and cross-leaved heath, bog asphodel, purple moor grass, sphagnum mosses, and carnivorous plants sundew and pale butterwort.
New Forest National Park Authority Landscape Officer Sarah Kelly said: ‘Landford Bog Nature Reserve is a small remnant of what was a much larger bog that was part of Landford Common, a typical New Forest heathland landscape.Many of the plants and animals found there are very rare in Wiltshire, and a few are known in the county only from this one site. Except for the reserve and some of the fields to the south of New Road, almost all the natural heath in this area has been lost, so it’s vital that we conserve and improve this area which is so important for both wildlife and the local community.’
National Grid’s Landscape Enhancement Initiative (LEI) helps fund local schemes that reduce the landscape and visual impacts of existing National Grid electricity transmission lines in English and Welsh protected landscapes (National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty).