The Green Flag is awarded annually to organisations that meet the national recognised standard for maintaining parks or open spaces and this is the third year in a row the site has won this prestigious award.
The reserve is owned by building materials company CEMEX and is managed in partnership with South Gloucestershire Council and the local community group, the Friends of Wick Golden Valley Local Nature Reserve.
The Green Flag Award is given to parks and open spaces which meet the following criteria:
- A welcoming place
- Healthy, safe and secure
- Clean and well maintained
- Conservation and Heritage
- Community involvement
Cllr Janet Biggin, Chair of South Gloucestershire Council, said: “The nature reserve in Wick is such a unique place with such a diverse habitat so readily accessible to the local community and I am delighted that it has been chosen to receive this award. It was once an ochre processing factory which has become a haven for wildlife, with the remnants of its industrial past hidden amongst the vegetation. Visitors also flock to the woodland to follow the audio bat trail and the river provides a home for many birds including kingfishers and dippers, and it also supports otters and a wide variety of fish and aquatic life.”
As well as the Green Flag award, Wick is also celebrating its fifth year as a nature reserve which has also become an important habitat supporting peregrine falcons who nest in the adjacent quarry.
Matthew Wild, regional director of CEMEX Aggregates Southern region, said: “As one of the UK’s leading providers of aggregates, cement and ready mixed concrete, we recognise that our business has consequences for people and the environment. It is a key challenge for us to balance these impacts with the need to build a more sustainable future. We’re a major landowner in the UK, and with land ownership and quarrying come good stewardship responsibilities and the moral obligation to return land to good use with enhanced biodiversity once operations have ceased.
“The Wick Golden Valley Local Nature Reserve is a prime example of how land that has been disturbed by quarrying and industrial processes can be returned to nature, and how partnerships between CEMEX and local authorities, in this case South Gloucestershire Council, and local community groups can result in flagship, high quality nature reserves with improved habitats for wildlife.”
Source: South Gloucestershire Council