Strategic Land

Biodiversity & Sustainable Environments

Popular village nature site near Stratford receives Local Wildlife Site status

  • Meon Vale has been designated as a Local Wildlife Site by Warwickshire County Council
  • A site of outstanding biodiversity, its habitats are home to the rare Bechstein’s bat species, the critically endangered water vole, and specially protected Little Ringed Plover
  • £4,900 Warwickshire County Council, Green Shoots funding awarded to Meon Vale Residents Association (MVRA) to support planting of new wildflower meadows

Meon Vale, the sustainable and self-sufficient village near Stratford-upon-Avon developed by St. Modwen, the UK’s leading developer of new communities and high-quality homes, has been awarded Local Wildlife Site status by Warwickshire County Council.

Popular among local residents and visitors alike, the designation recognises Meon Vale as a home to some of the UK’s most distinctive and threatened species as well as habitats important to local, regional, and national ecosystems.  

Local Wildlife Sites are some of the UK’s most valuable wildlife areas.  The award comes following the publication of a recent report by the government outlining the benefits of woodlands and other natural environments to the nation’s mental health.

Habitats at Meon Vale include ponds, wetlands, woodlands, and wildflower grasslands, which currently support and are home to a wide variety of animals including water voles, butterflies, newts, birds, and bats.  Meon Vale was also the site of the first sighting in Warwickshire of the very rare Bechstein’s bat species.

The wetlands at Meon Vale additionally provide a valuable habitat and breeding ground for wading birds including the specially protected Little Ringed Plover, and is home to two pairs and five juveniles of the species out of a total of only 15-20 pairs in the county.  A pair of Little Ringed Plover was recently recorded as successfully breeding in the wetland area in June 2021.

St. Modwen is committed to making further enhancements to the woodland and open green spaces, and biodiversity at Meon Vale including: designing and managing the wetland area as a nature park, adding new habitats and pathways, installing and monitoring bat boxes, further enhancing streams and ditches, and restoring grassland through more sympathetic management to create wildflower meadows.

We’re proud of the habitats and biodiversity achievements we have made so far at Meon Vale, and are continuing to work with specialist ecologists and local residents to identify other, longer-term opportunities for further biodiversity improvements which we can implement.

Andrea Clarke, residential portfolio manager at St. Modwen

St. Modwen recently held woodland wildlife walks for the local community, hosted by ecological consultant, Milly Robson.  Milly led a number of well attended trips around Meon Vale, answering questions from residents including about the elusive and critically endangered water voles, and how the steps being taken throughout the ecology processes at Meon Vale have helped it become a place of outstanding biodiversity.

Local residents keen to support biodiversity have also successfully been awarded £4,900 in funding from Warwickshire County Council’s Green Shoots Fund for its Making Meon Vale Sustainable project.  The Meon Vale Residents Association (MVRA) which secured the funding will use it to support the planting of new wildflower meadows to accelerate biodiversity growth around the village.  

It will also support the purchase of compost bins, providing residents with the facility to compost both kitchen and garden waste, improve soil quality, and create a natural fertiliser for both gardens and allotments. New water butts will also support water saving in both households and community allotments at Meon Vale.