RSPB take on ownership of nature reserve created following historical land transfer  

February 27, 2023

Some of the UK’s rarest species will be given a unique home thanks to a historical land deal 25 years in the making. Ownership of a wetland habitat has transferred to the RSPB in Nottinghamshire. 

The land, which is equal to 168 football pitches, is a haven for nature on the banks of the River Trent. Sustainable building materials and construction solutions business, Tarmac along with Trinity College, Cambridge have signed over 120 hectares of land to RSPB Langford Lowfield in Nottinghamshire. 

RSPB Langford Lowfields is a thriving wetland site, at the heart of which sits the largest reedbed in the East Midlands. The reserve is home to Bittern, once nearly extinct in Britain and other key species like Bearded tits, Marsh harriers and Otters. 

Reedbed habitat has seen massive decline in the UK, predominantly due to land drainage. 

In the late 1990s an agreement involving the RSPB and landowners Tarmac and Trinity College was signed which meant that quarried land would be passed over to the RSPB to manage for the benefit of wildlife and nature. Early February saw the fulfilment of the agreement. 

Joe Harris, site manager at RSPB Langford Lowfields, said: “Langford Lowfields is a vital and thriving wetland wonderland, that provides a home for a range of amazing wildlife.” 

“This recent transfer of land to the RSPB marks a significant milestone in the history of the nature reserve and also in the ongoing, strong partnership between us and Tarmac.” 

This partnership has helped create a home for a diversity of wildlife with 215 species of bird being recorded on site and 53 species breeding there in 2022. Joe Harris said: “Key reedbed species, once on the brink of extinction in the UK now breed here, including the iconic bittern whose loud booming call can be heard throughout the Spring.” 

“Looking ahead, as the woodlands, wetland, meadow and reedbed continue to develop and establish, so the variety of wildlife that people can see at Langford will continue to increase.” 

Stuart Wykes, director of natural land and resources at Tarmac, said: “Handing over the ownership of Langford Lowfields to the RSPB has always been an integral part of our plan to restore and protect the land for years to come. It truly is a one-of-a-kind place and it’s important that it is preserved and cared for. 

“We have built an invaluable relationship with RSPB over the years, and Langford Lowfields perfectly demonstrates how through working together, conservation on a large scale can be very successful. 

“As part of our ongoing relationship, the RSPB work hard to look after the wetland habitat whilst we support with any restoration required. Restoring sites back to nature like this, makes a positive impact on climate change and biodiversity loss. 

“We’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with the RSPB and seeing just how the Langford Lowfields grows and evolves in the future.” 

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