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Helping hand for nature

Oakhill Nature and Wildlife Reserve is a beautiful landscape of green glades, woodland and water sitting on the outskirts of Goole and thanks to a group of dedicated volunteers, has ‘returned to nature’ and become a tranquil haven for wildlife.

Thanks to a successful funding bid the Friends of Oakhill, who maintain the site in partnership with the ERYC, have received a welcome cash injection to help promote awareness of the reserve and protect the area for future generations.

Friends of Oakhill is a charity formed in 2005 as a public interest group, run entirely by volunteers who help support and carry out important conservation works around the site. They have recently been awarded £2,700 from the Goole Field Community Wind Farm Fund, a community ‘cash pot’ contributed by the wind farm developer and set aside to benefit and support communities that neighbour its sites, helping to develop community inspired projects.

The successful funding bid has come at a vital time in the reserve’s history, as the construction of a nearby link road has hampered access to the site and raised fears that visitor numbers would dwindle.

Volunteer Matthew Cox told Our Goole: ‘The Friends of Oakhill have been awarded £2,700 from the Goole Fields Community Wind Farm Fund for their ‘From Tiny Acorns’ project. This project aims to grow awareness of the reserve and build the skills of local people to manage and protect the area for years and generations to come, enhancing knowledge of the many special species which are found there.

‘The group have been working hard, despite previous access issues to the Oakhill site caused by the development of the new Tom Pudding Way, and are thrilled to have secured these funds to further their ambitions. It will enable us to introduce more people to the site, through improving access arrangements for all and providing a year round calendar of events for all ages and interests.

‘It’s been a difficult season. We have managed to continue our habitat management work on the reserve through the autumn and winter months, and have been working closely with the contractors in an effort to maintain site access for the public. The construction of the new link road has not been without problems in terms of our access to the site. Hopefully now we have an established temporary access point with a small temporary car park off the Tom Pudding Way, locals and visitors from further afield will be able to start enjoying Oakhill unhindered once again. ‘This funding will help us move forward in achieving our goals – bringing more people onto the site and letting them experience the wonderful wildlife it has to offer.’

Volunteers are always welcomed to help with conservation days and donations can be made at any time. For membership of the group a donation of £6 for an individual or £10 for a family group is suggested.
For more information visit: oakhillnature.org

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