Panorama by Peter Speight © 2022
Note: The vertical white line seen to the far left of the image allows you to toggle between photography taken in 2021 and 2022.
The Cobthorn Reserve in Congresbury was launched with an open day in May 2022 with almost 200 local residents turning up to see what YACWAG was doing with the reserve.
Furnace Way (which adjoins Cobthorn Way leading to Wrington Lane) and its amenity areas have been built over what used to be private farmland where Greater Horseshoe bats hunted for their food, especially in the summer when young bats need to learn to hunt insects near their roost. Because the Greater Horseshoe Bat is rare and protected, the developer, Strongvox, has given the land to YACWAG through the planning process. The nature reserve is being created to compensate for the land lost to development and will be managed as a nature reserve forever. YACWAG will make sure the field is managed in the best possible way for the bats and it will be a nature reserve forever.
The Greater Horseshoe Bat’s preferred landscape is one with grazing animals, tall, wide hedges and scattered flowering trees. This kind of management is good for many species and we know that many types of bat already use the field. YACWAG will follow a closely monitored management plan to make sure we maintain the right conditions to support Greater Horseshoe Bats.
YACWAG is carrying out regular surveys for dormice, birds, bats and flora. This has in the first couple of years involved a dozen volunteers and another dozen local members are watering the trees planted by National Grid in 2022. These trees formed part of the mitigation measures for the building of the new Hinkley Point nuclear power station. They include oak, disease-resistant elm, alder, black poplar and six apple trees to form a small orchard.
People can see the views to the south and look into the nature reserve itself from the public footpath accessed from Cobthorn Way which runs along the northern edge of the reserve, and also, outside the western boundary, the surfaced footpath which leads to the river.
Footage (see video above) from the trail camera during May 2020 at YACWAG's Cobthorn Reserve, Congresbury, North Somerset.