Woodhouse Washlands nature reserve straddles the River Rother, on the boundary of Sheffield and Rotherham in South Yorkshire. Despite a history of industrial use and extensive land drainage associated with the straightening of the river in the 1950s, the nature reserve still holds a good range of wetland wildlife includinggreat crested newts, grass snakes, reed warblers and snipe.
Every winter for many years local residents have suffered with a waterlogged footpath on the reserve. Funding from Viridor Credits has allowed the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust to undertake a programme of works to enhance the wetland habitats on the nature reserve and improve access for visitors.
A network of nine new ponds and wet scrapes have been created, two existing ponds have been restored and 50 metres of wet ditches have been dug. Four newt hibernacula have also been built on the site, providing safe shelter for these endangered animals over the winter.
Viridor Credits funding also enabled the 550 metre footpath to be resurfaced and for drainage to be installed, which will provide good year-round access. Woodland thinning along the path has opened up views, and in spring 2018 there will be two new interpretation panels and waymarkers installed to help visitors find their way around the reserve.