More natural wonders opened up for walkers

Butterfly on plant

Another 13 National Nature Reserves in England have been permanently opened up to walkers as part of an on-going programme to give people access to some of the country’s most inspiring landscapes.

It will now be possible to explore Westleton Heath in Suffolk, Wye in Kent, Hardington Moor and Rodney Stoke in Somerset, Axmouth to Lyme Regis Undercliffs in Devon and Wyre Forest in Worcestershire on foot.

Ainsdale Sand Dunes and Cabin Hill in Merseyside, Duddon Mosses and Gowk Bank in Cumbria and Ingleborough, Ling Gill and Scoska Wood in North Yorkshire have also been given open access rights as of 21 February.

The 13 locations are the second group of National Nature Reserves to be dedicated for the public’s enjoyment as part of a four year programme to open up 81 sites under the ownership of Natural England which are specially protected for their wildlife.

The latest reserves to be opened up will offer a variety of landscapes to walk in, from coastal terrain to moorland and woodland. “We’re delighted that the crown jewels of England’s natural world will be permanently open for walkers to enjoy” said Ramblers Senior Policy Officer Kate Conto.

Access on foot to a further eight National Nature Reserves, including Beacon Hill in Hampshire, Holme Fen in Cambridgeshire, The Hudnalls in Gloucestershire, Thursley in Surrey and Wylye Down in Wiltshire as well as further locations in Devon and Cumbria, is due to begin in June.

While the new access rights are permanent, restrictions and closures may be put in place from time to time and season to season to protect the special habitats or species National Nature Reserves look after. Always watch out for local signs and follow the Countryside Code.