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Mansfield nature reserve project gets underway

Work has started on a project to restore the pond at Quarry Lane Local Nature Reserve, Mansfield.

Volunteers from Maun Conservation Group have been rolling up their sleeves and helping to cut back and remove vegetation around the existing pond so that it can be excavated, the depth increased, and dipping platforms extended. A path to the pond will also be created.

The scheme, known as the Upper Maun Project, will attract a greater variety of wildlife to the area and improve the conditions for water voles. The work on the dipping platforms and the path will make the pond area safe and accessible for the whole community, including children, families with pushchairs, and people with disabilities or limited mobility, as access to the area is currently limited to able-bodied people. Work is expected to be completed by December 2013.

Funding for the £15,438 project is coming from Mansfield District Council, SDC trailers, and donations from the local community, as well as from The Veolia Environmental Trust who have awarded a grant of £5,000 through the Landfill Communities Fund, and The Environment Agency who have contributed over £9,000 through its Midlands Urban Rivers Community Initiative.

The group developed the project through discussions and meetings with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency, Mansfield District Council's Parks and Local Nature Reserve Development Officers, local schools, the Mansfield and Ashfield Wildlife Watch group, and the NHS.

Chair of Maun Conservation Group, Colin Etches, said: "We are delighted that work is now underway. The project will improve habitats and enhance community engagement and education by making the pond and dipping platforms accessible to all. Disabled people will be able to join in the pond-dipping experience, some for the first time."

A spokesperson from the Environment Agency, added: "The Midlands Urban Rivers Community Initiative is a programme of work aimed at tackling the root causes and behaviours that can lead to neglect and pollution of our urban watercourses. Supporting this project to promote community involvement in the River Maun will help to educate the next generation to enjoy and care for their local river."

The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, commented: "Over the last five years we have awarded over £700,000 to community and environmental projects in Nottinghamshire and it is great to hear that this one has started. The improvements will make a real difference to the local community and environment and I look forward to hearing about the project's completion."

Published 02 December 2013

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