AN appeal has been launched to raise funds for the management of a key wildlife habitat in Droitwich Spa.

The newly created Canal and River Trust has started its first appeal to help protect and enhance 50 of the nation’s historic canals and rivers.

One of the projects highlighted in the appeal is the town’s Coney Meadow reed bed.

Around £5,000 is needed to manage the site, which was created in 2008 during the restoration of the Droitwich canals. It provides a vital habitat for local wildlife and the support will encourage threatened species such as reed warblers, reed buntings, grasshoppers, otters and kingfishers to flourish.

Ecologist Dr Mark Robinson, from the trust, said: “The reed bed, surrounding grassland and trees are starting to become an important wildlife reserve by the Droitwich canals.

“Already, we are starting to see many exciting and threatened species using the beds, but we need support to help us make improvements as well as managing the existing reed beds.”

The trust has taken over from British Waterways and the Waterways Trust in England and Wales, with a 15-year contract signed with the Government and support already pledged by Google and the People’s Postcode Lottery.

All donations will be spent directly on conserving, restoring, and enhancing local canals or rivers.

To donate to the Coney Meadow reed bed, text REED to 70007. For more information, go to