Frome’s Missing Links ‘Ecology Group’ has been meeting regularly for over a year. Members have been helping out with a Sustrans funded initiative called “Greener Greenways,” which aims to increase the wildlife value of the green verges either side of the cycle path at Great Elm.
Earlier in the year, working with Ann Wells, a Somerset County ecologist, the team completed a four-month reptile survey that counted over 440 sightings including slowworms, common lizards and grass snakes as well as non-reptile sightings of shrews, voles and toads. The total number of sightings was very encouraging for the recorders and the biggest surprise was the frequent sightings of grass snakes that seem to love the sloping grass verges.
More recently, work on the path has opened up the south face of the railway embankment by cutting back brambles and thorn bushes to increase the diversity of the flora and fauna and making ‘dead’ hedging. Several new reptile habitats have been built, old waterways cleared, apple trees restored and picnic areas created.
The work will also help to support the aim of extending the path the extra two miles into Frome. In fact Frome’s Missing Links charity is currently developing plans for the completion of the path. Explore the website for more information or make a donation.
Local volunteer Andrew Marchant explains, “With the bird-nesting season approaching it is time to start reducing the impact of our activities and to give a big thanks to everyone for supporting the ecology improvements undertaken during the winter. The public has shown great appreciation for the work done so far.”
Frome Town Councillor and Chair of Frome’s Missing Links, Richard Ackroyd adds, “The ecology group have done excellent work along the Colliers Way cycle path – nothing short of magnificent in my opinion! I urge members of the public to take a walk or cycle to the site and see how much better it looks with a little care and attention. Now that spring is approaching I am sure that we will soon see an increase in flowers and bird life and I most certainly will be looking out for grass snakes next time I cycle along there!”
16th February 2018
Sustrans is a registered charity, which looks after the `national Cycle Network (NCN) Frome is connected to NCN24 via Colliers Way. www.sustrans.org.uk