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Bournemouth Airport heathland restored to protect threatened species
3:00pm Thursday 31st October 2013 in News
HEATHLAND next to Bournemouth Airport is to be restored to protect threatened species.
A new partnership between Bournemouth Airport and Dorset County Council began this week over the care of the important site near the airport.
The move has come about thanks to a successful application for 10 years of funding from Natural England and a stewardship agreement is now in place to ensure Merritown Heath and Moors Riverside Meadows will be restored and enhanced.
Danny Alder, senior ecologist with Dorset County Council’s natural environment team, said: “Dorset County Council looks forward to continuing working alongside Bournemouth Airport and Natural England in managing this important landscape which lies within the airport boundary.
“The HLS will enable threatened species such as the Nightjar, Dartford warbler and Sand Lizard to continue to thrive and help develop educational visits for local schools to explore the ecology of the habitats found here.
“This is a new phase in the conservation work being undertaken here as grazing stock will be introduced within the next two years to help maintain the diversity of heathland and riverside wildlife.
“The scheme will act as an important catalyst for sustainable land management on other areas of the county council's farm and countryside estate.”
Paul Knight, Bournemouth Airport’s managing director, said: “We are delighted to be working with Dorset County Council and Natural England to improve our local environment.
“We place great importance on managing, protecting and enhancing the quality of land around our airports and this is no exception.
“Dorset County Council will manage the land on our behalf, installing new fencing to enable the re-introduction of grazing and allowing the natural habitats and wildlife to thrive.”
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