It is the newest nature reserve in Winchester.

Around 30 hectares of land will be used as a haven for wildlife displaced by the development of Barton Farm.

The existing farmland where the reserve is on land east of the railway just north of Abbots Barton, will be transformed into wildflower grassland after a final crop is taken later this year.

It is hoped that species like pollinating butterflies, bees, farmland birds like skylark, yellow hammer and linnet.

Around the reserve will be a 2.75 km circular path around the perimeter, which will offer views over the fields and inside the reserve will be livestock used for grazing to help maintain the wildflower meadows.

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust ( HIWWT) have lofty ambitions for the reserve to emulate the likes of Farley Mount and Shawford Down.

They have been appointed by CALA Homes, on behalf of Winchester City Council to establish and manage the reserve.

Explaining the scheme was reserves officer Bradley Brown from Itchen Valley Grazing, he said that the aim is to reseed the fields and turn it into chalk grassland.

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The seed mix will be sourced from local sites and it hoped that the reserve will attract a variety of wildlife including Grey Partridge.

Also on the meadows will be livestock as part of a grassland management programme.

Mr Brown said: "We hope to emulate the likes of Shawford Down and Farley Mount.

"It will be a really good thing, in seven years time it will be unrecognisable from what it is now."

In March, HIWWT will officially be managing the land, and there will be three rustic oak benches installed at the site.

Assistant director of conservation delivery at HIWWT, Martin De Retuerto said: "This is a great way to allow people to have a close connection with nature and traditional farming management through grazing."

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Residents were excited about the plans for the future of the reserve and 30 came along to see it at an information event, one of them was John Beckett,66, retired from Colley Close.

Mr Beckett said: “What they are doing is brilliant, I fought the council previously as it struck me there were vested interests and I thought this land was going to go.

"I am pleased to seen what they are doing and how they planning it."

Fellow resident Chris Poulter, a civil servant from Courtenay Road said: "It is really exciting to see that there's conservation grazing with wildflower meadows its fantastic.”

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Barton Farm implementation manager Chris Hughes said: “It has been positive, people are excited that there is going to be a new nature reserve in Winchester. I think residents were just curious what the plans are that’s why this has been useful and that’s why we are going to keep doing this to keep people informed of what's going on.

“It's going to be a great resource for people who live in Barton Farm and everyone that lives in