Shelley Conservation Group
Wildlife and Management

We know quite a lot about wildlife on the Whins as local people have studied the site over recent years. Both the meadow and the gorse areas are of great value for wildlife. Group members have planted native wildflowers in the meadow, and Kirklees Leisure Services mow the site and remove the hay annually. This is important as it not only reduces the siteís fertility thus encouraging flowers rather than grasses, but also stops the oak and gorse seedlings from getting a hold.

The gorse is a good breeding habitat for a number of bird species which are in decline nationally, including Song Thrush, Linnet and Bullfinch. It needs management on a regular basis to stop it getting leggy and thin at the same time. In nature gorse is managed by fire, but on a small site like the Whins where this isnít possible it will be cut in small patches over a number of years, at a time of year when breeding birds will not be disturbed.
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