An additional 8.41 hectares of lowland wet heath at Finglandrigg Woods near Carlisle has been recognised for its importance for nature and the local community.
In a formal declaration by Natural England this week the National Nature Reserve has now been extended to cover 87.6 hectares of land.
The NNR has a mosaic of habitats and is home to an array of wildlife, including many plants, animals and fungi which together make this site one of the largest wildlife rich areas on the Solway Plain.
Finglandrigg Woods, made up of mixed woodlands, purple moor-grass, rush pasture, lowland wet heath and mire, is maintained by Natural England which allows the habitats to thrive and be managed for people to enjoy. There are well-maintained and marked trails to explore the reserve, including a 2km blue route, which is suitable for those with limited mobility.
Helen Kirkby, Area Director of Natural England, said:
The extension of Finglandrigg Woods National Nature Reserve is an important moment for nature recovery and the many different and rare species that call this site home.
Over seventy years on from the creation of our first National Nature Reserves in England, these wonderful places are needed now more than ever as we face into the challenges of global warming, wildlife decline and reconnecting people with the natural world.
That’s why we are working hard to better protect the environment for future generations to come, so they can continue to enjoy the best nature has to offer.
NNRs were established to protect some of England’s most important habitats, species and geology, provide ‘outdoor laboratories’ for research and offer opportunities to the public, schools and specialist interest groups to experience wildlife first-hand, along with learning more about nature conservation.
To mark the additional land being added to the NNR, local school children from Kirkbampton Primary School attended a celebration with Natural England where they explored the area and undertook conservation works including heathland management.
Source: National England