Warsop councillor wants Green Flag campaign for neglected nature reserve

A councillor in Warsop is bidding to reinvigorate a "neglected" nature reserve in his ward and eventually achieve a Green Flag Award.

Councillor Phil Shields, independent member for Netherfield, wants to create "community enthusiasm" around The Bottoms reserve, on Netherfield Lane, to "bring it back to when I was growing up".

Councillor Philip Shields, Steve Horne of the Warsop Footpaths and Countryside Group, Andy Chambers, MDC parks development officers, and Andy Hollis of the Ecological Environmental and Social Regeneration group.

Councillor Philip Shields, Steve Horne of the Warsop Footpaths and Countryside Group, Andy Chambers, MDC parks development officers, and Andy Hollis of the Ecological Environmental and Social Regeneration group.

Coun Shields has identified plans to create a 'Friends Of The Bottoms' group to get more people involved in the site, which features woodland, walking paths and a stream of the River Meden.

He says the reserve has "potential" to become great and wants to "get things happening" for the parish.

He said: "This is a forgotten area of the district and is one of the few nature reserves we've got. Not a lot of people know it's here and I'd love to see it developed.

"I used to come down here as a kid, playing down here and crossing the old bridge, so I'd like to get it developed to eventually have a Green Flag status.

"It's certainly got the potential and it gets the footfall. I'd like to set a Friends group up to get volunteers interested in coming down to look after it.

"People moan that Warsop doesn't get anything, well this way we're doing something about it and get things happening.

"This part of the path goes all the way down to the Meden School and by opening it up it means they can walk through the nature reserve rather than down the busy, main roads.

"We've got a lot of scope to turn it into something brilliant, we just need to encourage people to get involved, show an interest and maybe one day we can get it to Green Flag level."

Coun Shields met at the site with Mansfield District Council's parks development officer, Andy Chambers, Steve Horne from the Warsop Footpaths and Countryside Group and Andy Hollis, of the Ecologic, Environmental and Social Regeneration group, who were all enthusiastic about the plans.

Mr Chambers said: "There's so much scope here. At the minute its a bit overgrown but I think areas like this welcome the overgrown habitat.

"Creating the 'Friends' group should certainly be the first option to take. You've only got to look at the Pleasley Orchard 'Friends' group that has taken four years from scratch to get a Green Flag community award to show this will work.

"It's a beautiful piece of land and with backing and a bit of effort it can be made into something great."

If you want to get involved with the 'Friends of The Bottoms' group, contact Coun Shields on 07946380778 or email him at pshields@mansfield.gov.uk