The speed at which it does so is remarkable. Already the first sites have been colonised by meadowsweet, comfrey, purple loosestrife, thistles and nettles, with harvest mice, grass snakes, otters, snipe, sparrowhawks and marsh harriers returning after many years of absence. The only intervention has been to dig a pond. On the margins, birds foot trefoil, meadow pea, thistles, yellow flag irises, umbellifers and some willows are establishing. Hares, badgers, roe deer and foxes have all been recorded as returning to use the “neglected” land. The biodiversity index score has increased markedly in only a couple of years.
Photo: Grass snake