New Hill and Tannager Nature Reserve, Somerset

The New Hill and Tannager Nature Reserve in Somerton, Somerset covers an area of approximately 35 acres. It is comprised of a mix of grassland, wetland, and woodland habitats, and it is home to a variety of plant and animal species. Some of the bird species that can be found in the reserve include lapwings, skylarks, and reed buntings, among others. The reserve is also home to a variety of mammals, such as badgers, foxes, and hedgehogs.

Somerset Wildlife Trust approached Valencia Communities Fund with a bid for funding new fencing to enable the trust to implement an annual programme of grazing with livestock; the key management tool for restoring and maintaining this now species-rich grassland. For the first time in over a decade, ponies have grazed the grassland slopes over the winter months.

Mark Green, Reserve Manager, said “the new fencing has meant we can resume a successful grazing programme once again by sheep and ponies at our New Hill and Tannager reserve, helping to maintain this species rich grassland habitat. We look forward to seeing the benefits of this mixed grazing strategy and an increase in the number of wildflowers and insects attracted to the slopes this summer.” 

Somerset Wildlife Trust manages the reserve through a range of conservation measures, including the restoration of wetland habitats and the management of the grasslands to encourage wildflowers and other plant species. The reserve is open to visitors year-round, and there are several walking trails and observation points that allow visitors to observe the local wildlife in its natural habitat.

All photos by Mark Green