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Park visitors encouraged to support 'healing' Beacon Hill heathland

The measures will help wildlife such as Common Lizards
The measures will help wildlife such as Common Lizards

Decisive steps to protect a small section of a Leicestershire beauty spot are starting to produce an ecological boost.

Last year, the county council temporarily closed Jewels’ Hill in Beacon Hill Country Park – a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) - to help replenish the heathland and protect wildlife which uses it as a habitat.

Ecologists subsequently found that, when undisturbed, the land – with grass and vegetation of varying height – was creating small micro-climates which are ideal for insects, birds, lizards and plant growth.

A similar closure is now being put in place this year at the location, which amounts to three per cent of the total area of the country park – with restricted access from 1 April to 1 August.

Councillor Lee Breckon, lead member for property and resources, said: “It’s clearer than ever before that people want to do more to protect the environment and become more sustainable.

“This small temporary action at one of our most popular country parks is necessary to enable us to carefully manage and protect some of the rare flora and fauna that propels the parks eco-system – and it is clearly working.”

“We hope this year sees more ecological discoveries and the public’s support during this short summer period will no doubt be the key to helping us to achieve a more plentiful replenishment of the heathland.

 “By restricting access to the area for a few months during the year, we are giving nature some space to breathe.”

Beacon Hill has hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, and the park’s team wish to conserve the wildness and wildlife that attracts so many throughout the seasons.

To find out more about Beacon Hill or upcoming country park events, visit our country parks website or find us on Facebook - facebook.com/leicscountryparks.

 

Notes to Editors

 

Signs will be displayed in the park from w/c 28 March reading as follows:

Jewels Hill

Closed April 1st – August 1st

This area is closed for our ongoing Heathland conservation works.  Heathland is a nationally important habitat which requires careful management to ensure its ongoing conservation and enhancement.  Reducing disturbance will help flora and fauna flourish within Jewels Hill.  Our livestock will continue to graze this area as part of the wider conservation grazing regime.

We appreciate your wildlife sightings – submit them to BeaconHillCountry.Park@leics.gov.uk

Please respect our closure period and follow alternative diversion routes.

 

 

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