MP opens nature reserve revamp

MP Bridgett Phillipson cuts the ribbon to open a new access route at Durham Wildlife Trust Rainton Meadows, during her visit  on Friday, watched by puypils from East Rainton Primary School and volunteers Bob Humphries (left) Tom Maxwell (right)
MP Bridgett Phillipson cuts the ribbon to open a new access route at Durham Wildlife Trust Rainton Meadows, during her visit on Friday, watched by puypils from East Rainton Primary School and volunteers Bob Humphries (left) Tom Maxwell (right)
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VISITORS to a Wearside nature reserve will enjoy a better experience after thousands of pounds worth of new path improvements were unveiled.

Major works on tracks around Joe’s Pond Nature Reserve in Houghton were revealed by MP Bridget Phillipson.

A grant of £14,000 has enabled the Durham Wildlife Trust, which owns the site, to install 60 metres of new elevated board walk constructed from materials made from recycled plastic.

Joe’s Pond is on the site of an old clay pit and contains habitats, including open water and reed swamp, with areas of fen and willow carr.

There is also an area of dense scrub and two artificially created wildflower meadows, which host a variety of plants including several orchid species such as northern marsh and common spotted.

As part of the improvements, the old, decaying boardwalk and various steps have now been removed, and the new walkway now provides viewing points over the whole area, but also a wheelchair and pushchair-friendly route around Joe’s Pond.

The project included work by the trust’s Volunteer Task Force, and staff from Cummins’ Darlington Engine Plant provided some help.