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Jesmond Dene Nature Area
View over dipping platform pond and paths - August 2013

In February 2008 the Jesmond Dene Volunteer Rangers with support from the Friends of Jesmond Dene and Newcastle City Council applied for HLF lottery funding to expand and develop an existing small Nature Area in Jesmond Dene. The aim is to create a resource to inspire visitors of all ages to understand and care about wildlife and the environment. The project was approved in July 2008, planning permission received October 2008 and formal permission to proceed was granted by the HLF in November 2008.

Participation in the Nature Area construction work and ongoing care as it matures will, we hope, encourage the public and educational groups to maintain their interest and involvement. The existing Nature Area was too small to meet existing demands from educational groups and facilities were limited and open to vandalism, impacting on the habitat. Wheelchair access was poor and there was no public information available about the diverse wildlife it supports.

Sustainability and care of the environment will be a major theme of the new Nature Area.

We are now in receipt of the HLF funding which will provide :-

Detailed surveying of Nature area.
Perimeter fencing to secure the new larger Nature Area, preventing unauthorized access.
Pictures of preparation of the area and fencing being erected
An outdoor area for informal, activity-based teaching of natural history with hard landscaping such as a large pond (pond digging photos), (pond lining photos) with ‘dipping platform’. Visit to Rainton Meadows to look at "Marmax" dipping platform. A meadowland habitat area and an area of managed woodland.
Wheelchair-friendly paths will link the separate habitats.
Nest boxes for birds, bats, and insects to encourage a thriving wildlife population, some wired for webcams to show visitors the seasonal life of their occupants. A bird feeding area screened by willow fencing will be provided.
A wooden shelter offering weather protection, equipment storage space, and as a teaching support facility.
Webcams, relayed via video link back to the Visitor Centre.
Plantings for the pond, meadow, and woodland habitats to encourage insects, pond life, birds and small mammals.
A wide range of information for visitors in a variety of formats, including interpretation boards at the nature area and display screens in the Visitor Centre. Webcam displays will also be shown on the website created as part of the project and a CD will provide in-depth coverage of the project aims and benefits. School groups will be supported by leaflets, work packs and equipment to help maximize benefits from their visits.

To do     Partially complete     Completed

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