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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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£50,000 grant to improve access to nature reserve

A NATURE reserve which is home to the rare natterjack toad is set to receive a cash injection.

The former Millom Ironworks site is due to receive more than £50,000 for work to improve both human and animal access to the site.

Improvements are due to start in October – once the breeding season has finished – and will see the creation of a circular footpath, habitat improvements and a number of new information panels installed at the Duddon Estuary site.

Councillor Jack Park, a member of Copeland Borough Council and Millom Town Council said the investment will be a welcome boost to the reserve.

He said: “The money will come from Copeland Borough Council and the Big Lottery Fund.

“These things take time but the money has been pledged so we can now expect work to start.”

Cllr Park said the plans aimed to make the nature reserve as wheelchair friendly as possible.

He said: “It’s going to make it easier for people to walk around the site.

“Wheelchair access is a problem and we are hoping to do something about that, the terrain doesn’t lend itself to wheelchair access, but if we can improve it, we will.

“The footpath surface will be improved where necessary, the pond where the natterjacks breed needs attention as it dries out easily.

“Copeland have already provided some nice seats and dog waste bins for the site.

“It is very well used, I will be at the site during the Heritage Open Days if people would like to come down.”

Cllr Park said while the project will focus primarily on improving access to the site some of the work will be putting right problems created by vandals.

He said: “Unfortunately we suffer from vandalism, we installed a heritage information panel which has been smashed, it tends to increase especially during summer holidays.

“Some of the young kids don’t understand the heritage of the town – it’s very sad.”

Millom Mayor, councillor Doug Wilson, said the investment was good news for visitors to the town.

He said: “I think anything that’s going to enhance and improve people’s access to areas of natural beauty is a good thing.”

Mark Holroyd, tourism officer for South Copeland said the funding was a welcome boost.

He said: “This investment is great news, the ironworks reserve offers spectacular views of the Duddon Estuary and this is a real asset for the town.

“Any work which makes these views more accessible for the community and tourists is always welcome.”

The project is due to be finished by late November and officially opened on December 10.

Have your say

nice speach jane but it doesnt take away the fact that the money could be better spent

Posted by paul on 6 July 2010 at 17:37

In these times of economic austerity, due to Labour's mismanagement, any funding that improves Millom and the surrounding countryside is most welcome. Disabled people need fresh air and exercise so the wheelchair access is a requirement. Improving access and tidying up the nature reserve will attract more tourists into the area, who are potential customers for the town's businesses. A lot of money does need spending to improve Millom. Even when the treasury was full very little came this way. Any public funding is always welcome, but essentially most money has to be raised from charities then it is up to the people and local entrepreneurs to keep it going. I do not think we should be complaining about the £50,000 given to the nature reserve, but working together to improve the town's amenities like the park and providing young people with constructive activities. The people who have worked to obtain this funding for the reservation should be thanked. In the meantime work done by groups like the Friends of Millom Park need support. It is not an either/or situation.

Posted by Jane Micklethwaite on 6 July 2010 at 13:08

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