IMPROVEMENTS made to a Ripon wetlands nature reserve by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust have been recognised with a prestigious award.

The Trust received a Good Access award from Open Country recognising its inclusive access developments at its Ripon City Wetlands nature reserve.

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Open Country is at Yorkshire-based charity which promotes countryside access for all.

It praised the Trust's recent work to improve accessibility at the nature reserve including the resurfacing of rough gravel paths, removing gates, erecting an accessible shelter and providing blue badge parking bays in the car park.

David Shaftoe, Open Country's chief officer, said: "Rather than just paying lip service to access issues, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust have made considered and valuable developments at Ripon City Wetlands and are embracing the opportunity to increase the variety of visitors to the site.

"A lot of the work is carried out by the Trust's volunteers and we thank them for their efforts.

Jonathan Leadley, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust's area manager for North Yorkshire, said: “If lockdown has shown us one thing, it is that nature is so important for people’s health and wellbeing.

"Yorkshire Wildlife Trust are dedicated to making Yorkshire’s wildlife and wild places accessible to all, and by creating accessible nature reserves like Ripon City Wetlands we can achieve this vision.

"We have been supported by the fantastic Open Country team for many years and to win this award from them is such a thrill, after what has been a tough couple of years.”

Created from a footprint of a working quarry, Ripon City Wetlands was officially opened in 2019.

It is home to a vast range of birds and wildlife enjoying a variety of habitats including open water, reedbeds, meadows and grassland.


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