Two lo­cal na­ture re­serves set up

Accrington Observer - - NEWS - JON MACPHER­SON

‘We have got those ar­eas, we are lucky to have them’

TWO of the largest lo­cal na­ture re­serves in Lan­cashire have been es­tab­lished in Ac­cring­ton.

Hyn­d­burn has also be­come the first district in the county to meet na­tional tar­gets for ‘ac­ces­si­ble nat­u­ral green space’.

The lo­cal na­ture re­serves will cover Peel Park, in­clud­ing land at the Cop­pice, Ar­den Hall and Plan­ta­tion Road, and Wood­nook Vale, in­clud­ing land at King Ge­orge V Play­ing Fields, some ar­eas of Bul­lough Park and Roth­well Heights.

Coun Ken Moss, cab­i­net mem­ber for leisure, said it is the cul­mi­na­tion of a twoyear project and ex­tra fund­ing is be­ing sought.

He told a re­cent cab­i­net meeting: “They will be the two big­gest in Lan­cashire and we are the first coun­cil to achieve the na­tional rec­om­mended daily dose of lo­cal na­ture re­serves. This is a long-term thing and I’m keen to push it through.

“We have got those ar­eas, we are lucky to have them and we should des­ig­nate them and there’s a lot of work be­ing go­ing on with lo­cal schools and groups.

“There’s work on­go­ing try­ing to pull in fund­ing from ex­ter­nal sources and there’s lots and lots of dif­fer­ent projects go­ing on.”

Coun­cil leader Miles Par- kin­son said it was a great achieve­ment and will also help pro­tect against fu­ture hous­ing de­vel­op­ment.

He told the meeting: “It’s pleas­ing that we are one of the first coun­cils to des­ig­nate such large ar­eas for na­ture re­serves.

“It also plays into part of the strat­egy for the fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of the bor­ough and mak­ing sure that it’s pro­tected, be­cause we do have to de­liver hous­ing, and the fig­ures set down in the core strat­egy will be about 4,000 prop­er­ties.

“It’s im­por­tant that we have in the ur­ban bounda- ries and ur­ban ar­eas open space for the public to ac­cess. We are a small bor­ough, densely pop­u­lated over a small area but with the coun­try­side in walk­a­ble dis­tance.”

Tory group leader Coun Tony Dob­son said: “I think we need to do all we can in projects like this and I think the des­ig­na­tion can be noth­ing but a good thing.

“The Con­ser­va­tive group is more than happy to wel­come it and I con­grat­u­late ev­ery­one who has taken part to get it to this stage be­cause I do know that a lot of work has gone into it.”

Wood­nook Wa­ter (left) and dap­pled sun­light on a cob­bled lane at Plan­ta­tion Road, Ac­cring­ton

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