Verne Common Local Nature Reserve to be restored to former glory

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council is working in partnership with Dorset Wildlife Trust and Natural England to restore Verne Common Local Nature Reserve.

Cleared scrubVerne Common Local Nature Reserve forms an important greenspace for local people, as well as being of national importance for a number of wildlife species which exist on the site. The site is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and as such has legal protection.

In 2014 Weymouth & Portland Borough Council signed up to a Higher Level Stewardship agreement awarded through Natural England, in order to gain funds to help towards the management of the site.

Jeff Cant, Leader of Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and Briefholder for Finance and Assets, said:

“We are committed to restoring the site and delighted to be able to make a major contribution of £100,000 to this work on behalf of the community and take works forward with Dorset Wildlife Trust, who have demonstrated strong interest in seeing the best for this site.

“Restoring the nature reserve will make best use of the area and enable residents and visitors to further enjoy a beautiful part of Portland.”

Planned scrub reduction will be carried out through goat, pony and sheep grazing which will allow the habitat to flourish. The borough council is seeking to involve the public in the

Goats on quarry wall

ongoing management of the reserve and is looking for public participation through a volunteer common shepherding scheme. Training in shepherding and stock health will be provided to volunteers who are interested in getting involved in the project.

An information drop-in day is being held on Tuesday 21 February at the Brackenbury Centre in Fortuneswell from noon until 7pm.

The drop-in session will, provide information on plans to fully restore the site, detail the various stages of the project and provide a chance for residents and visitors to speak with the council and Dorset Wildlife Trust and ask any questions about the project.

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