Langley Mead, previously known as Loddon SANG, was opened on 13 May by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading Sir David Bell. The new public open space stretches for just over 18 hectares of countryside along the banks of the River Loddon, south-west of Shinfield.
The plans have created an attractive and educational conservation environment for local people to visit and enjoy, as well as provide habitats for a range of wild plants and animals to flourish.
A Ranger helps to look after the site, to promote its use as an educational and amenity resource for local people, and to help manage the conservation grazing herd that is needed to restore and sustain diverse grassland.
A programme of planting thousands of new trees and hundreds of metres of native species-rich hedgerow has accompanied the development of the open space, with the added benefit of the walkways and paths, which have been built to make it accessible for all to enjoy and appreciate.
Green hay was kindly donated by the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) in 2013 to seed the wildflower meadow at Langley Mead. The hay, harvested from nearby wildflower meadows at Moor Copse nature reserve, has been used this to replenish the pasture fields at Langley Mead with the plant species that are likely to have once lived here. Former arable areas with higher nutrient levels have also been sown with wildflower seed mixes.
Langley Mead is free and publically accessible all year round (weather depending), available as Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG). Dog walkers are also welcome with circular walks provided. Public educational events will be organised from time to time at Langley Mead, and there will be opportunities for community groups to get involved.
For more information about Langley Mead, please go to: www.langleymead.co.uk.