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Caught on camera at Vicar Water!

Posted onPosted on 26th Feb

Trail cameras installed to showcase the wildlife living at Vicar Water Country Park, as well as reduce crime there, have highlighted the diverse animals that have made Clipstone their home.

The cameras were installed by park rangers at various sites that have no public access, in the hope of spotting some of the park’s wildlife inhabitants as they enjoyed Vicar Water undisturbed.

Among the animals captured on camera are roe deer, foxes, and most recently a Eurasian woodcock, which hadn’t been recorded there before and is noted as a conservation concern on the UK Red List.

Coun Emma Oldham, portfolio holder for Biodiversity and Environmental Services at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “Vicar Water is a fantastic asset to our district and while there are so many areas of the park that can be enjoyed by visitors, these photos showcase the importance of safeguarding protected areas just for wildlife and how valuable they are for supporting biodiversity.

“It is brilliant to catch a glimpse of some of the wonderful wildlife that share our district with us, including rare and exciting species, and I can’t wait to see what we spot next in our parks and green spaces.”

Vicar Water Country Park has been recognised as a Green Flag Award-winning park for many years.

On the site of a former colliery, it has been transformed into a thriving green space with an abundance of biodiversity and wildlife.

Heathland, woodland, grassland, and a lake provide homes and food for a variety of wildlife, including kingfishers, herons, water scorpions, frogs, newts, emperor dragonflies, green woodpeckers, and more.

The council’s Street Scene Team has been working to protect, maintain, and enhance the park over winter to make sure it remains a haven to this wildlife.

Work has included the creation of a native wildflower walk, with pathways through the meadow that include living willow tunnels, bee posts, and planters.

The council has also partnered with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust on the Three River Project, a Severn Trent-funded scheme to improve the health and flow of water through the river at the park. The aim is to tackle poor water quality and leakage from the riverbed.

The trail cameras have been installed through the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Locality Funding to engage the community, particularly young people, with wildlife. The money, which will also be used at Sherwood Heath, was secured following the success of a project that focused on engaging with young people to reduce rural and wildlife crime.

Coun Paul Taylor, portfolio holder for Public Protection and Community Relations at the council, added: “Tackling anti-social behaviour is a vital part of creating a safer district, and that includes anti-social behaviour not just towards residents but also towards wildlife.

“We take wildlife crime very seriously and, in addition to the trail cameras, have a number of projects under way to combat this issue, including engagement with schools, water and fire safety events, and a range of planned activities with fire and police colleagues to strengthen the message about protecting and enjoying our wildlife.

“These cameras are an asset because they not only help to deter wildlife crime and anti-social behaviour in those areas, but they help us engage with young people and, hopefully, allow them to feel more connected to the wildlife that our district is home to.

“We will continue to work with our local partners to tackle rural and wildlife crime and I urge residents to help us in this by being our eyes and ears and always reporting any incidents.”

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “It is great to see the Locality-funded trail cameras are having the desired effect in reducing wildlife crime and anti-social behaviour.

“This is a significant step in improving the attitude towards our environment, combined with the great work Nottinghamshire Police are doing by going into schools and educating young people on the value of looking after our green spaces and wildlife.

“We also have a fantastic project going on at Hill Holt Wood, Newark, where young people are provided with a safe space to learn and an opportunity to buy into the importance of our wonderful countryside.

“In addition to funding innovative projects such as these, I have also invested in improving Nottinghamshire Police’s rural crime offer, including new vehicles, equipment, and training for control room staff.

“I ask the public, do please report rural and wildlife crime to Nottinghamshire Police so we can tackle it together.”