Nature reserve status for Eastfield ‘gem’

Eastfield councillors Brian Simpson, front left and Geoff Evans, front right, with Tom Mutton, back left, Groundworks programme manager (Scarborough), and David Spencer, Dell nature ranger, at The Dell in Eastfield, which has been named Scarborough's first Local Nature Reserve.  Picture by Andrew Higgins  124318a   25/10/12

Eastfield councillors Brian Simpson, front left and Geoff Evans, front right, with Tom Mutton, back left, Groundworks programme manager (Scarborough), and David Spencer, Dell nature ranger, at The Dell in Eastfield, which has been named Scarborough's first Local Nature Reserve. Picture by Andrew Higgins 124318a 25/10/12

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The Dell in Eastfield has been named Scarborough’s first Local Nature Reserve following a major project to improve the area.

After years of fly tipping and neglect at the 5.6 hectare park, the “Dell-ve into Nature” project was created in response to community requests for improved biodiversity, amenity and education on the site.

Since work began in April 2010, the Dell has been revitalised by the project and now features top quality wildlife habitats and a vibrant programme of events and activities.

The site is cleaner, more welcoming and popular with schools and locals who were previously reluctant to visit.

Local Nature Reserve status protects the Dell from development and by so declaring it, Scarborough Council has undertaken to manage the site for its wildlife, amenity and educational features.

Councillor Brian Simpson said “I am delighted that we in Eastfield have a nature reserve in the centre of the community.

“It is a testament to all those who are involved in the Dell and have been since we first embarked up on this project.

“This is indeed a boost for Eastfield; I say this as both a local resident and councillor.”

Dell Ranger David Spencer said: “I’m really happy to have been involved in this important declaration.

“The Dell is a real gem and well-loved by adults and children alike, as well as an increasingly important wildlife habitat.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has supported the project over the last two and a half years.”

Improvements include new paths, boardwalks, bridges and a pond dipping platform. Sculptures and on-site interpretation have also been installed, along with new fruit bushes.

Biodiversity improvements have been extensive. The first job was to dig two new ponds in the stream course; as well as creating a wetland habitat these are important educational resources, allowing children – and adults – to explore the hidden world of aquatic wildlife.

Almost all of the Dell’s eastern side is top quality wildflower meadow; eligible for the Higher Level Stewardship grant – reserved for only the best wildlife habitats in England.

The meadow is managed to preserve and enhance this species richness. It supports large numbers of bees, butterflies and other birds and insects.