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This special valley is threatened by poor management of grassland, overgrazing of some areas, abandonment of haymeadows leading to low-value scrub and loss of associated wildflower species and invertebrates.
Under this project, ADEPT will:
1. clear 5 hectares of scrub and of invasive species, restore to haymeadow
2. clear 1.5 km of stream banks and trail edges
3. clear plastic along stream edges, trail edges and in fields
4. plant 50 apple and plum trees in the grassland
5. build 1.5km spur linking mountain bike trail to the nature centre
6. equip a nature visitor centre (in an ADEPT-owned building already restored)
7. mark 5km nature trails through the nature-rich grasslands
8. hold large opening event which will give local/national publicity .
This will employ 10 local people, 12 months; and offer 1 or 2 permanent jobs to local people once the trails and centre are completed. Results will be 5 ha restored grasslands, 500 ha under better management through education of farmers, nature centre linked to trail helping bikers and local people (including children from 12 local schools) to understand and value the landscape/culture of the area.
This project will build on the previous EOCA grant in 2013, by linking the main mountain bike trail to the Angofa nature centre and nature trails, adding an extra visiting point to the existing bike trail, and making the trail a more interesting experience. A constant theme we hear from the over 3,000 bikers who use the trail each year, is they would like a place they could go to, to find out more about the area. There is no nature information centre in the area, and neither is there any place to buy guide books etc. that is accessible to cyclists but away from the main road which is dangerous owing to HGV traffic. The mountain bike trail spur linking the existing trail to the school, and the bike-able nature trails in the wildflower-rich grasslands around the school, will allow safe and enjoyable access to information and refreshments for cyclists and walkers; and will also show cyclists and walkers where to go, thus reducing damage to the landscape and to grass cops (especially hay crops). The nature trails will prepared so that they are suitable for walkers and cyclists, and modern and informative interpretation panels will be erected at key points, as well as bridges etc.