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DELEGATED DECISION BY DIRECTOR CULTURE & COMMUNITY July 2006
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REPORT OF THE ACTING ASSISTANT DIRECTOR CULTURE & COMMUNITY (LEISURE & CULTURE)

Designation of a Local Nature Reserve within the boundary of Rufford Country Park
Purpose of the Report 1 The purpose of this Report is to seek Director of Culture & Community approval for the designation of 2.34 hectares (5.75 acres) of Rufford Country Park as a Local Nature Reserve.

Background Designation of Local Nature Reserve 2 The proposed area incorporates much of the eastern boundary of Rufford Country Park. It includes the existing pond area behind the formal gardens, a stretch of Gallow Hole dyke plus much of the eastern boundary of Silver Pool. The proposed site is recognised as an important area for conservation and is currently home to a number of bat species and water voles, both of which are recognised as biodiversity action plan species. The area is currently used as an educational resource for both schools and community groups. Work has been carried out in the last 6 years to provide purpose built pond dipping platforms, an all weather shelter and surfaced paths for Disability Discrimination Act access. The principal wetland area is fenced with restricted access to organised parties. However, part of the site has been recently opened up to park visitors. This includes a bird watching facility. A 5 year management plan was produced in 1997. This plan has now been updated by the Rufford ranger team. The new 5 year plan is in its 2 nd year. The essential aim of the management plan is to protect and enhance the nature conservation of the area. The park volunteer group, Duke of

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Edinburgh volunteers, Landscape DLO and the rangers currently carry out this work. 7 Approval has been sought and obtained from English Nature for the designation of the area as a Local Nature Reserve. The new 5 year management plan has also been ratified by English Nature. Objectives of the Local Nature Reserve      Proposal 9 To seek approval for the selected area to be designated as a Local Nature Reserve in conjunction with English Nature. For continued use as an educational/community resource with community involvement and creating opportunities for children and special need groups to benefit from the area. That interpretation and visitor information be further developed to ensure that visitors are aware of the unique nature conservation value of the area. Maintain and enhance the conservation interest of the site Maintain and enhance the educational value of the site Make special provision for rare / protected species Promote good practice in site usage by all interested parties Maintain low-key recreational use of the site.

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Financial Implications 12 The project to create the local nature reserve has been funded via The Sherwood Forest Trust. This has directly improved 950 square metres of habitat and will provide resources for footpath improvements and interpretation. The Country Parks Service revenue budget has covered project management input. Future and ongoing costs of developing and maintaining the local nature reserve will be funded from external contributions and from the revenue budget for the Country Parks Service.

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Business Plan Implications 15 The proposals are consistent with the current Leisure and Culture business plan.

Strategic Objectives 16 Nottinghamshire’s Country Parks currently attract over 1 million visits per year and are an important recreational and cultural resource for the County.
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The proposal seeks to enhance and protect an area of important nature conservation for the benefit of both wildlife and as a community resource. Equal Opportunities Implications 17 The project provides for access for all visitors.

Crime & Disorder 18 The project involves working with groups of young people. These include individuals facing exclusion and Groundwork “Jump” participants. Therefore, the creation of the local nature reserve is seen as a diversionary activity.

RECOMMENDATION To approve the designation of the selected area as a Local Nature Reserve.

STEVE BRADLEY ACTING ASSISTANT DIRECTOR CULTURE & COMMUNITY (LEISURE & CULTURE) A43

Legal Services’ Comments (KS 26/7/06)) The Director of Culture and Community has the authority to approve this recommendation under his delegated power to manage the County Council’s Country Parks open space and other countryside facilities. Director of Resources’ Financial Comments (C&C/RWK) The financial implications are set out in the report. Background papers available for inspection English Nature – Correspondence approving Local Nature Reserve (LNR) designation. English Nature - Correspondence approving management plan for LNR. Nottinghamshire County Council – Correspondence approving the boundary of the LNR Sherwood Forest Trust – Correspondence confirming grant application for LNR Electoral Division affected Newark (Rufford Ward)

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I agree/do not agree …………………………………………. Date ………………….. Mick Burrows Director Culture & Community

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