A FORMER landfill site – now home to 40,000 trees as part of Swadlincote Woodlands is to become a local nature reserve.
The Woodlands park is responsible for bringing The National Forest right to the edge of Swadlincote town centre and boasts 80 acres of trees, ponds, and artwork by local schools.
Now, South Derbyshire District Council has been given approval to submit an application to turn the park into a local nature reserve.
The former landfill site, which was known as Hillside Quarry, owned by Derbyshire County Council, was surrounded and incorporated into the Woodlands country park owned and operated by South Derbyshire District Council.
The district council has approached the county council with a view to designate the whole area as a Local Nature Reserve. In order for the whole site to be designated Natural England has indicated that the county council would have to sign a Nature Reserve Agreement.
The district council has prepared the application and the management plan and now the county council has given its approval to continue.
If the designation was successful, the district council would continue to manage the woodland, as it currently did, with the county council responsible for any costs associated with necessary tree work on the former landfill site.
By declaring Local Nature Reserves, local authorities can provide many benefits for both people and wildlife, such as building relationships with national and local nature conservation organisations and local people, and protecting wildlife habitats and natural features. It will also make it possible to apply bye-laws which can help in managing and protecting the site.
Nature reserves can also help local authorities meet Local Biodiversity Action Plan and sustainable development targets.
The Woodlands boasts nine footbridge containing artwork from local schools, footpaths lead to two ponds and then Salts Meadow. A time capsule was buried in the grouds in January 2000.
If the council’s application is approved, it could become a nature reserve as early as this summer.