Teigngrace Meadow nature reserve will be familiar to anyone who regularly uses the A38 as it passes the Drumbridges roundabout close to Stover and Bovey Heathfield. Its towering mound sits just to the south of the major road and was created from spoil: the discarded workings of large scale local clay extraction projects.
The 33 hectare site became Teigngrace Meadow nature reserve in 2016 when Devon Wildlife Trust took over its care and management. The introduction of cattle on to the site was an initial priority for the charity which wished to expand the reserve’s grassland areas. However, a lack of good fencing and a water supply remained barriers which even frustrated this ambition and threatened the future of the site’s rich mix of wildflowers, which included the rare green-winged orchid; insects, including grizzled skipper butterflies; and birds, including skylarks and meadow pipits.
The answer to the problem came in August 2018 when £19,600 of generous support was secured from Viridor Credits Environmental Company which funds community, heritage and biodiversity projects through the Landfill Communities Fund. The money has been used by Devon Wildlife Trust in works which now have just been completed and which included the clearance of existing areas of scrub vegetation and the installation of 280 metres of new stock-proof fencing, along with two gates, a 10,000 litre water tank, pumps, underground pipework and cattle troughs.