THE transformation of a Scarborough beauty spot could lead to it becoming the first in the area to be designated a Local Nature Reserve.
The Dell in Eastfield could be awarded the status from Natural England, with Scarborough Council’s Cabinet set to recommend the move at a meeting on Tuesday.
Andy Skelton, the council’s head of environmental services, said: “Local Nature Reserves are open spaces where the aim is to provide access for people to the natural environment. They are chosen for their educational/research potential, natural interest and/or wildlife-orientated enjoyment by the public. The Dell satisfies all of these criteria.”
He added: “Natural England has already indicated that it would welcome an application for the Dell to be designated a Local Nature Reserve.
“If this proposal receives Cabinet approval the process would involve the preparation and display of public notices, a formal application to Natural England, and, subject to public response and approval from Natural England, the designation is then made.”
In a further positive development the Dell-ve Into Nature project, which has provided finance and support for the site, is set to be extended for a further 12 months.
The Dell was primarily used as a cut-through to different parts of Eastfield before the scheme began.
The area was littered with dog-fouling, broken glass, burnt out cars and fly tipping.
Mr Skelton added: “Such was the opinion locally, that community members decided that action needed to be taken to transform the Dell from an eyesore to an asset.
“A partnership was formed, comprising staff from the council, Eastfield parish councillors, local residents, Eastfield Neighbourhood Partnership, Groundwork North Yorkshire and Elected Members to proceed with the plans and secure funding from Access to Nature.
“The aims were to improve the site and increase its use, educate and involve locals, recruit volunteers and ensure the project is sustainable.
“Results show success in all areas.”