VILLAGERS who are opposing plans for luxury glamping barns that could bring hen and stag parties to a local nature reserve have come up with their own idea for the site.

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust wants to develop the redundant barns at Tretawdy Farm in Llangrove, near Ross-on-Wye.

The site was gifted to them by the late Eileen Cook under the condition that they manage the site as a nature reserve and not use any pesticides.

The trust says they need the six to eight-person holiday let to generate revenue to invest in conserving the surrounding 27 acres of pasture land.

But the overwhelming majority of local people are against the scheme, with more than 800 people signing a petition against the proposals.

Six families have banded together and have submitted their own planning application for an educational centre on the farm.

They are asking the trust to consider their proposals, which would see the establishment of an educational foundation in honour of Eileen Cook.

The idea is to provide a place to provide outdoor learning for the public and especially young people.

This would involve things such as teaching environmentally and socially sustainable practices, and biodiversity conservation.

They say it would tie in with campaigns to re-orient the education system around the climate emergency and ecological crisis.

The site could also be used as a research centre that works with local universities.

And they say the trust could generate income by running courses in hedge laying, orchard planting, bee keeping, dark skies photography, botanical art classes and even bird watching classes.

The larger of the two buildings would provide indoor space with simple wooden seating to educate up to 30 children or adults.

The small stable block would also be renovated and secured to store clip boards, learning equipment, magnifying glasses, binoculars and biodiversity counters for children.

Volunteers would also work with the trust to help it apply for grants and build a network of financial support from local benefactors.

Miriam Craddock, who worked on the proposals for the education centre, said: “An education centre is in line with what was initially proposed as a possibility during an open meeting we had in the village last August with estates manager James Hitchcock.

“We want to work with the wildlife trust in collaboration through dialogue.

“But there’s been no form of consultation with local residents at all with their current plans for the site.

“The education centre we’ve put forward is in keeping with the wishes of Eileen Cook.”