Who are we?
Tewkesbury Nature Reserve is a 40 hectare site of flood meadow and pasture on the edge of Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire. The reserve is run as a company limited by guarantee, and also a registered charity. It is led by a small Board of Trustees composed of local residents, advised by a Management Committee which includes representatives of some of our partner organisations (including the Environment Agency, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and a regional university), alongside local enthusiasts. A Reserve Manager (employed on a part-time basis) has responsibility for the day-to-day management of the reserve, and can call on an active pool of volunteers for help with suitable tasks.
Tewkesbury Nature Reserve is totally independent. We work in partnership with many organisations who share our aims, but we are totally reliant on grants, donations or sponsorship to fund the maintenance and development of the site. Other than our part-time Reserve Manager, all effort including that of the trustees is entirely voluntary.
2007. Tewkesbury under water. Flood levels even higher than those of 1948.The coming together of the swollen rivers Severn and Avon, fed from the south by the rivers Swilgate and Tirle, coupled with the exceptionally heavy rainfall had a devastating effect on the town.
As well as work on reducing the future effect of flooding, a group of individuals got together to see what could be done with the expanse of land that stretched from Priors Park, across to the much newer housing development of Walton Cardiff as to how this site that flooded year after year could be managed more effectively, and at the same time, turned into an amenity for the local community, run by the community. The idea of an urban nature reserve was suggested, and out of this, Tewkesbury Nature Reserve Ltd was formed.
A meeting was held with potential stakeholders including residents from the local community as well as the team from Priors Park Neighbourhood Project and representatives from the Wetland and Wildlife Trust, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency, Natural England, the Orchard Tree Trust, University of Gloucestershire, a prominent Doctor in Biodiversity and members of the Tewkesbury Borough Council.
A plan was put together to manage the creation of the nature reserve, which would benefit wildlife and the local community by developing the green infrastructure within Tewkesbury, enhancing biodiversity and improving urban drainage. It would contribute to a network of Severn Vale green spaces, identified in the Gloucestershire Core Strategy and the Gloucestershire Infrastructure Plan
This project was inspired by the greater awareness by the community of the relationship between urban living and the influence of nature following the extensive flooding in Tewkesbury in the summer of 2007.