Tyne & Wear

Durham Wildlife Trust takes over 'crucial' reserve

Bloody cranesbill found at Cross Gill Image copyright Durham Wildlife Trust
Image caption Bloody cranesbill is found at Cross Gill

A wildlife trust is taking over the management of a "crucially important" nature reserve in Durham.

Durham Wildlife Trust has taken over responsibility of Cross Gill grasslands on the Durham coast, which houses nine hectares of rich magnesian limestone.

It is hoped the move will help support the wide range of rare vegetation, which includes cranesbill and rockrose.

A spokesman for the trust said it was "vital" to protect the "nationally rare" grasslands.

The area lies close to the trust's existing Blackhall Nature Reserve and forms part of the Durham Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Mark Richardson, trust reserves manager, said: "This is a crucially important area and we are delighted to have taken over its management.

"Grassland areas like this are rare nationally and it is vital that we protect them wherever possible."

Mr Richardson said a large area of dense gorse scrub will be cleared to restore rich grassland and a fencing and water supply will be installed to allow the site to be managed sustainably by grazing.

The grasslands support a wide range of plant, butterfly and moth species.

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