Wild Ground has managed the Lane End and Knowle Hill Nature Reserves in Buckley since 2010.
Wild Ground has managed the Lane End and Knowle Hill Nature Reserves in Buckley since 2010. The site was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 2002 and as a Special Area of Conservation since 2004. The site is of important value for wildlife and protected by law. A nationally important population of great crested newts are present in Buckley, with several sites designated specifically to protect this species. Of all these sites, the Lane End and Knowle Hill Nature Reserves support the largest population, with counts of over 1,300.
Great crested newts are a European Protected Species due to loss of habitat and reductions in abundance throughout their range. As such, they are protected from intentional killing or injuring, and intentional or reckless disturbance or destruction of their shelter.
During August 2021, a series of Illegal bike jumps and tracks have been constructed on the Knowle Hill nature reserve in Buckley. Following complaints by members of the public; staff and volunteers then visited the site to investigate the issue. The damage to the site and some of the subsequent social media content relating to the issue has been reported to Natural Resources Wales and North Wales Police who are investigating the situation.
A spokesperson for Wild Ground said: “It is unfortunate that this situation has occurred. We hope to work with residents and provide interpretation on the site, so people understand the potential damage to the newt’s habitat. This will hopefully help prevent future occurrences and users will respect the site and its wildlife."
The Knowle Hill Reserve is managed for nature but is also open to the public to enjoy walking the various footpaths. In the three years before Covid, on average, Wild Ground organised 26 events with over 450 attendees per year on the Lane End and Knowle Hill Sites in Buckley. All sessions were free to attend and were provided especially for children and families over the school holiday periods and to schools during term time. Wild Ground also run wildlife walks for all age groups throughout the year. In the same period dedicated volunteers contributed on average over 1,000 hours of work over nearly 50 sessions each year, maintaining the sites.