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Tree planting ceremony celebrates the future of Gloucestershire's countryside


Gloucestershire County Council officially hands over five of its countryside sites to the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust at a celebratory tree planting event.

Following a proposal submitted by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT), as of 1st April this year the management of Crickley Hill Country Park, Coaley Peak Picnic Site, Coopers Hill Local Nature Reserve, Barrow Wake Viewpoint and the Kilkenny View Point was transferred from the county council to GWT. The sites are well used by local people, schools and community groups total 270 acres and are all within the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

To mark the official handover of the sites, a tree planting ceremony is being held at Crickley Hill on Friday 22 April at 10:30am, followed by a short tour of the site and a lunch kindly donated by local caterers Bison Kitchen.

As well as members of the surrounding community and local businesses, councillors, Wildlife Trust members and volunteers will be attending the event and speaking with the leader of the county council, Cllr Mark Hawthorne and Ellie Harrison, President of GWT.

By transferring the sites to GWT the commitments to public access made by the council will be continued and there will be more opportunities to improve facilities whilst still protecting these open spaces.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: "We were more than happy to transfer these sites to GWT because it's a charity specifically set-up to protect and promote open spaces for the people and wildlife of Gloucestershire. The Trust are a great partner that will maintain the sites and ensure they continue to be enjoyed by future generations."

Roger Mortlock, CEO of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust said: "This is a milestone moment for the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. These are five well-loved and well-used sites in the county - all great places for people, and for wildlife.

"They include some of the most important sites for wildlife and archaeology in Gloucestershire. For an organisation like ours which looks after some of the most special places for wildlife in the county, the chance to take on these sites is an unrivalled opportunity."

GWT will be inviting comment from users of the five sites over the summer as well as running public events starting with Walk for Wildlife, its annual fundraising walk on the 2 July.

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