PLANS to manage the conservation at St Catherine’s Hill for the next 10 years are now out to consultation.

Thanks to the work of a number of organisations, pooling their efforts as part of the St Catherine’s Hill and Town Common Steering Group, a draft plan has been formed to manage the sensitive area for the next 10 years.

Established in 2009 to oversee the production of a new management scheme, it is made up of representatives from Hurn Parish Council, Christchurch Borough Council, the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, Natural England, Friends of St Catherine’s Hill, West Christchurch Residents Association, Sembcorp Bournemouth Water and the Urban Heaths Partnership.

The group is asking for comments on the plan in a public consultation that runs until March 30.

Chairman of the steering group Cllr Sue Spittle said: “It has been very satisfying to see the many different organisations in the steering group working so well together to come up with an agreed draft plan for the area.

“We believe the plan will serve St Catherine’s Hill well into the future and we want to make sure that people in the local community are happy with the proposals as they stand or find out if they would like to make any changes or comments on them.”

Informal drop-in sessions will take place on Saturday, February 25 between 10am and 5pm and on Friday, March 9 between 4pm and 7pm at St Catherine’s Hill Community Hall on Marlow Drive.

Details of the consultation can be found on dorsetforyou. com/christchurch/stcather ineshill/managementplan or from the Civic Offices, Christ-church Information Centre, Christchurch and Highcliffe libraries and Stanpit Marsh and Steamer Point Nature Reserve Information Centres.

How new plan can protect the hill

• Protection and improvement of the varied features of the site including nature conservation, archaeology, recreation, public enjoyment, community involvement and education.

• It also includes measures to expand heathland, retain and enhance significant areas of woodland and create additional areas of wooded heath.