Bideford Target Shooting Club is committed to the conservation of the natural environment at it's ranges at Melbury. Wherever and whenever possible the club will do all it can to enhance and maintain all the natural flora and fauna at the site. During construction work we will take all necessary steps possible to protect the environment and do all we can to enhance the area for the future.
Bideford Target Shooting Club owns land at Melbury, a site about 1 mile from the Village of Parkham in North Devon. The site was a former water treatment works owned by Southwest Water and backs on to the dam wall of Melbury Reservoir. Bideford Target Shooting Club purchased the site in November 2012. The site is covered by woodland on two sides, Melbury Reservoir and open farmland. Upon purchase, the land had not been in use for a good number of years and together with the main stone barn building that will be converted into the club room in future, the land had a number of other buildings. A large water storage tank being the most prominent of the structures together with brick built pump house and other derelict buildings. The site at this stage was littered with debris from it's time used by Southwest Water and our first task was to clear the site of as much of this as possible.
Melbury site January 2013. This was how the site looked on the 1st day of the project
As part of the clubs planning application we had to undertake a full environmental study of the area in which we wished to build and create our new ranges. As a club were happy to commit to the long term future of the environment and have appointed a committee member to oversee the long term plans for this aspect of our club. The planning application included a dedicated conservation area that will be created behind the butt's at the far end of the range but in the mean time the club remains very sympathetic to the impact we are having on our surroundings. Prior to and during the huge earth workings that had to be undertaken the club has relocated established flora within the boundaries of the site. We have also planted a sapling nursery and will relocate these plants across the site as and when is suitable.
Hedge laying March 2014,the same hedge in 2015 & the sapling nursery.
We are well aware that our activity on the site over the past few years has had an impact on the local wildlife and flora however not all in a negative way. By the spring of 2016 and whilst work was still ongoing to finalize the interior structure of the outdoor range, a pair of Wagtails had decided to make a nest in a well protected area of a corner of the steel structure. We have already erected a number of bird nesting boxes across the site and also added an owl nesting box, more of these will follow over time.
Bird and owl nesting boxes at Melbury.
Together with our duties to the environment we are also trying to enhance the overall look of the area to those that pass as 1st impressions count! The entrance to the ranges needed a bit of a makeover and in March 2015 a dry stone wall and planting area was constructed and planted with rescued wild natural flora.
The site at Melbury contained 3 buildings that were not required and so they had to go. Two of these posed little or no problem whilst the third, the water storage tank was a massive consideration. The two smaller buildings that contained pumping equipment were stripped of all recyclable materials and demolished with their hardcore materials going into our landfill. Any hazardous waste was removed by a contractor.
The three structures we demolished.
Site comparison from day 1 to the completion of demolition.
The demolition work was necessary to create the space for the outdoor range and firing point building. The effect was quite dramatic to the landscape of the site but gave us some idea of how things may look in the future.