The Mill Meadows Society has received a National Lottery grant of £62,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project to create new trails within Mill Meadows Local Nature Reserve in Billericay.
Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project will help people to enjoy the wildlife and history of this special nature reserve.
There will be signposted walks with information displayed on the reserve and with more information obtainable from a new web site using phones and tablets. Users of the reserve will even be able to see where the cattle are grazing. Many of the footpaths and bridges will be improved or replaced making it easier to walk, especially during winter months. Information about the site’s history will be also be added to geo-caches and there will be a short and colourful History of Mill Meadows published.
Mill Meadows, which is owned and managed by Basildon Borough Council, is one of the finest ancient meadow systems in Essex and has a wonderful diversity of wildflowers, fungi, insects and invertebrates, many of which are rare. Records show that the fields and boundaries of the 90-acre (36 ha) site have changed very little in over 400 years and the Meadows have been in constant use by residents of Billericay during this time. The Meadows gives people an extraordinary taste of the former historic Essex countryside.
Commenting on the award, Neil Sumner, Chairman of the Mill Meadows Society said:
“We are absolutely delighted to have received this generous financial support, which is thanks to National Lottery players. It will help people of all generations to enjoy walking on Mill Meadows and to learn about its importance to wildlife, its interesting history and why and how it is managed.”
Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said:
“I’m really pleased that we can support this project to improve access and interpretation at Mill Meadows Nature Reserve. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, this project will help people to better appreciate and learn about the site’s rich biodiversity and history through new trail routes and a great programme of events.”
Find out more about Mill Meadows and the Society on the website here: www.millmeadows.org.uk