Nature reserve protection welcomed

A new management plan for the Duchess Wood nature reserve in Helensburgh looks set to be approved next week.

And the proposals have already been welcomed by campaigners seeking to protect woodland in the town.

Duchess Wood is the only Local Nature Reserve in Argyll and Bute, and a report to next Tuesday’s meeting of the council’s area committee says it is ‘a significant environmental resource’.

Councillors are asked to approve a management plan for the next five years drawn up by the reserve’s management committee, which includes the council, the Friends of Duchess Wood, Lower Clyde Greenspace and Scottish Natural Heritage.

The move has been welcomed by the Helensburgh Community Woodlands Group, which has been fighting plans for housing in the nearby Castle Woods.

Convenor David Adams said: “We are pleased to see the continued council commitment to Duchess Woods. Castle Woods is a natural extension of Duchess Woods but has long been neglected by its current owners.

“It needs to be well managed in the same way as Duchess Woods and it could then provide a direct woodland link right through from Duchess Woods to West King Street. HCWG is in the process of preparing its own management plan to help achieve this.”

Castle Woods has now been placed on the market, with prospective buyers asked to phone a number used by J Allan Osborne (Preservation) Ltd.

Mr Adams added: “We hope this will provide an opportunity to bring the woods into some form of long-term community ownership.”





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