A new habitat-rich wetland just off Herefordshire’s A49 has been given the go-ahead.

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust bought grazing land at Oak Tree Farm, between Dinmore Hill and the river Lugg near Bodenham, in 2020 with the intention of turning it into a wildlife haven.

Last autumn it submitted plans to re-profile the land to create several “scrapes” for holding seasonal rain and flood water, which would serve as habitat for wetland birds and insects, as well as a permanent pool for toads and dragonflies, fed by a spring on the farm.

Grasses and wetland plants were also intended to treat water flowing off the A49, which runs further up Dinmore Hill within 30 metres of the site.

One new bird hide had already been installed, with a second planned.

Spoil from creating the scrapes will be used to surface a new car park for five cars, accessible through a new gate off the C1121 road – a part of the plan which Wellington Parish Council objected to.

However, the council’s highways officer was satisfied with the proposed car parking and access.


In recommending approval, the council planning officer concluded that the proposal would “integrate into its surroundings without detriment to the surrounding environmental quality and local distinctiveness”, and would “not harm the local historic environment and the heritage assets”.

The trust plans to hold a series of guided walks at the farm, before opening the nature reserve to the public next spring.

Public access will be restricted to the paths to the two hides, while dogs will not be permitted – though the trust points out that dog walkers can still use its nearby Bodenham Lakes and Queenswood reserves.

The scheme is separate to Herefordshire Council's own £2 million programme of creating integrated wetlands to offset pollution arising from new developments in the county.

The 30 acres of land at Oak Tree Farm, though not the farmhouse, were marketed in 2019 for an asking price of £220,000.