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Wood is named nature reserve

by Gill Jenkins


Thursday 4 March 2004

A GREEN lung in the heart of Weymouth has been awarded special protection.

Members of Dorset County Council's cabinet yesterday agreed to designate the six-acre Radipole Wood as a nature reserve.

The wood, off Weymouth Way, was planted as a community woodland and is home to a variety of trees and plants, as well as a a variety of animals including badgers, bats and butterflies.

Wildlife

The bid for designation of the wood as a nature reserve is part of a three-year project called Working for Wildlife in Dorset, which aims to double the number of nature reserves in the county.

Around 50 sites have so far been identified as possible sites.

The project aslso aims to promote public access to sites of wildlife interest in or near local communites and to encourage local people to become involved in reserve management.

Lyn Cooch, Dorset County Council's nature reserve officer said the designation means the wood will now enjoy more protection in law.

"A local nature reserve is a statutory designation which gives the area legal protection," she said.

"The site should have special wildlife or natural features in the area, give enjoyment to local people and provide opportunities for education."

She said local authorities are obliged to manage and maintain reserves, which remain open to the public.

A friends group has been set up to work alongside the council's own rangers to look after the reserve.



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