East Keswick Wildlife Trust has been awarded a grant from the Big Lottery Fund.  A total of £5,508 has been received to improve access to Ox Close Wood, the 35 acre wood alongside the River Wharfe bought by the Trust in 1992 with money raised by the local community. This grant is in addition to a large grant secured by the Parish Council to replace the existing muddy track over Keswick Marsh with a limestone footpath (see separate news item on these pages). 

EKWT is using the money specifically to improve both foot and vehicular access to the Ox Close reserve and also to produce new information boards highlighting the diverse habitat and outlining the conservation work of the Trust. The wood is a designated Site of Environmental and Geological Interest with many rare plants species including Thistle Broomrape, Herb Paris and Yellow Star of Bethlehem. Many local people already visit the wood either individually or as part of the regular groups and work parties. The Trust welcomes visits from local schools, uniformed young people’s groups and many other associations. Regular weekly work parties take place and there is a busy schedule of activities and events, including guided walks and charcoal burning.

In 2003 HRH Prince Charles visited the wood to view the work of the Trust. Commenting on the grant, David Smith, Chairman of East Keswick Wildlife Trust, said “We are delighted that we can now put our plans for improving the reserve into immediate effect and look forward to welcoming even more members of the local community to this beautiful, ancient woodland.” 

You can find more information on the work of EKWT by clicking the Wildlife Trust tab to this site. For further information on the Big Lottery Fund grant, please call Melanie Smith on 01937 574140.  

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