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Blue House Farm set to get bigger

PUBLISHED: 17:27 20 April 2015

EXG MAY 15 EWT

EXG MAY 15 EWT

Archant

ESSEX Wildlife Trust has completed the purchase of land adjacent to Blue House Farm in North Fambridge, which will extend the trust's existing nature reserve by 44 acres.

The purchase was made possible by a successful public appeal, which raised more than £108,000, surpassing the target of £88,000. The trust would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated to the public appeal – their generosity has secured rare, cherished Essex coastal grazing marsh. The additional money raised is restricted for use at Blue House Farm and will go to support EWT’s ongoing work there.

The trust is now in the process of trying to secure the significant funding required to improve the new land for the benefit of wildlife, including many declining species. The exciting plans will raise water levels, to the benefit of many important species, including lapwing, redshank, snipe, brent goose, yellow wagtail, reed bunting, sedge warbler, wigeon, pintail and water vole, as well as grazing marsh plants and invertebrates. It will offer ideal habitat for colonising species such as the southern hawker dragonfly, spoonbill and great white egret.

Blue House is a 600-acre farm beside the River Crouch. The farm is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is internationally important for wildlife, particularly overwintering birds and also for coastal plants and insects. The farm has many permissive paths and is a wonderful place to experience Essex wildlife. The trust manages this working farm to conserve and increase the wildlife, balancing good livestock farming with good conservation practice.

Blue House Farm (Sat Nav CM3 6NA) is a few miles east of South Woodham Ferrers. Take the B1012 towards Burnham, then turn right to North Fambridge. Access is via a track on a sharp right-hand bend on the left of Fambridge Road, 400m south of North Fambridge Railway Station.

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