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Funding Supports Nature Conservation Sites In Poole

Nature conservation sites in Poole will now benefit from additional support from Natural England.

Borough of Poole has been granted a new ten year Higher Level Stewardship agreement by Natural England to help improve areas of heaths and woodlands within the borough.

Jez Martin at a nature conservation site in Evening Hill

Higher Level Stewardships schemes are given to land managers to help deliver environmental management on their land. As part of the new agreement, which will run until November 2023, Borough of Poole will receive £157,160.41 to manage a number of sites in Poole including Alder Hills Local Nature Reserve, Delph Woods, Evening Hill, Luscombe Valley, Warburton Road Site of Nature Conservation Interest, Pergins Island and parts of Poole Cliffs and Chines.

Jez Martin, Nature Conservation Officer, Borough of Poole, said: "This agreement will enable us to carry out a range of important nature conservation works to these sites. Some of the works will be specifically aimed at minimising the risk of heathland fires during the summer months. Other works will focus on areas where thick growth of shrubs and trees is having a negative impact on local wildlife. Areas with too many trees also reduce the ability of tree seeds to successfully grow into new trees, ultimately affecting the condition of our woodlands.
 
"Although some of these works may appear quite drastic, heaths and woodlands cannot survive without some form of management. Some species of shrubs and trees can readily colonise areas and if they are not controlled by cutting or grazing, they will grow until they shade out the underlying vegetation killing the vegetation and the animal life which it supports.

"By carrying out these works we will be able to provide more welcoming, well managed woodlands and heaths for wildlife and the public to enjoy."

This is the second such agreement that Borough of Poole has gained to help manage its land. The first agreement covered sites such as Bourne Valley, Canford Heath, Ham Common and Talbot Heath.

Councillor Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for a Prosperous and Sustainable Poole, Borough of Poole, said: "We really appreciate that Natural England is once again supporting the council in its ongoing commitment to manage Poole's heaths and woodlands responsibly. We take the protection and conservation of its flora and the wildlife, to which it is home, extremely seriously. To do this we must take steps to preserve Poole's nature conservation sites as a legacy for future generations to enjoy."