WILDLIFE volunteers and visitors to two Worcestershire Wildlife Trust nature reserves in the Teme Valley near Tenbury have been given a boost by Tesco Bags of Help.

Pennels Bank Wood and Hanley Dingle, in the Teme Valley, are woodland havens that offer a rich habitat for a host of wildlife.

Thanks to the £4,000 grant, volunteers are now better equipped to help wildlife on the two reserves and visitors will get a better welcome.

The grant has provided funding for a series of chainsaw and brush cutter training sessions for volunteers to better enable them to manage the nature reserves for wildlife. Protective clothing has also been purchased.

A new welcome sign has been designed and produced to help visitors get the most from their visit to these remote nature reserves near Tenbury.

“More than 200 species of plants have been recorded at these two small reserves but for some time now we’ve needed to create more open space along the paths,” said Dominique Cragg, conservation officer for the trust.

“This edge habitat is really important for wildflowers, butterflies and other insects as well as improving the access for visitors.

“All our nature reserves are cared for on a day-to-day basis by volunteers from the local areas. We’ve now been able to train several volunteers who will be able to help us manage Hanley Dingle and Pennels Bank Wood for wildlife.

“Of course, it’s been really important to us to be able to provide signage at the entrance to the reserve in order to help visitors navigate their way along the wildlife trail and to discover what they may see on their walk.”

The reserves cover 80 acres with several steep paths.

Minimal intervention has resulted in lots of dead timber, a vital component of the rich and varied wildlife found there. The woodlands have good collections of fungi, mosses and ferns.

Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative is run in partnership with environmental charity Groundwork and awards grants to thousands of local community projects each year through money raised from the sale of carrier bags.

Shoppers in Tesco stores vote for their favourite projects.

Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects; anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply on online.

Visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp for more information.