Plans for improvement works at Forge Valley National Nature Reserve, Scarborough, set to be approved

Image: Scarborough Council
Image: Scarborough Council

A plan to improve access to a nature reserve near Scarborough is set to get approval next week at the second time of asking.

Scarborough Council has applied to the North York Moors National Park (NYMNP) to carry out works to car parks, paths and to create a new footbridge at Forge Valley, at the East Ayton end of Raincliffe Woods.

The Raincliffe Woods Community Enterprise took over the running of the woods from Scarborough Council via a Community Asset Transfer in 2016 and earlier this year the borough council’s cabinet agreed to back a plan to bid for £800,000 of EU funding to replace an ageing boardwalk in the woods, which does not require planning permission.

The improvement scheme was due to be voted on by the national park’s planning committee last month but was deferred at the request of the borough council due to concerns about where a proposed new car park would be situated.

After some changes to the scheme, national park councillors have been recommended to approve the plans when they meet on Thursday (17th).

A report that will go before councillors notes: “This application by Scarborough Borough Council is for a range of improvement works to the Forge Valley National Nature Reserve to provide all year round accessibility suitable for wheelchair users, walkers and runners.

“At present, the area includes a boardwalk on the west side of the River Derwent, a number of designated car parks along with informal parking facilities at the southern end of the reserve at Seavegate.

“The existing boardwalk was created in 2000 to enable wheelchair users to access the nature reserve but is no longer fit for purpose and in need of replacement.

“The works proposed as part of this application form part of a wider scheme of improvement works to the nature reserve, with some works such as the replacement of the existing boardwalk and formalisation of existing car parks, not requiring planning permission.”

If the funding bid is successful it is hoped the work will be carried out in early 2020.