A tranquil woodland in the heart of South Marston village has been preserved as a natural environment and nature reserve for the local community to enjoy. Hills Homes has gifted the 1.55 hectares of woodland to the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust following the house builder’s completion of a small development of five individual detached homes in St Julian’s Close next to the reserve.
“This gift of the woodlands on the edge of our small development at St Julian’s Close continues our close association with the Trust,” said Nick King, group director of Hills Homes. “Natural spaces can be eroded by the development of our towns and villages but sympathetic development is key to our ethos and Hills Homes is keen to ensure that these special places are protected for future generations.”
A gravel path laid along the perimeter of the woodland lets walkers explore the natural green space and a car park gives easy public access. The woodland is home to many indigenous plants and trees together with deer, foxes and other small mammals. It provides a haven for birds and butterflies and a boundary stream provides a ready source of water for resident wildlife.
Last year children from South Marston C of E School visited the woodland to discover what wildlife lives there and then use this knowledge to create drawings to inspire pieces of art. These will be interpreted by a blacksmith and mosaic artist with the resulting artwork installed along the pathway in the nature reserve. Five brass rubbings have also been created and these will be inlaid into oak posts and placed around the site.
The official opening of the woodland will take place this summer when the artwork has been completed.