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    Marlborough Downs selected as Nature Improvement Area

    NewsEnvironment & Nature NewsTuesday 28 February 2012
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    UK
    The Marlborough Downs is to be part of a government project to create wildlife havens.
    Twelve places out of 76 in England that applied to become Nature Improvement Areas have been chosen.
     
    The project aims to restore habitats and encourage local communities to get involved with nature.
    The work will be carried out by partnerships involving community groups, conservation organisations and landowners.
     
    The 12 areas will share £7.5m of government funding.
    Defra said establishing dewponds would encourage birds, newts and other amphibians and help re-establish viable grazing.
     
    The Wiltshire project is the only farmer-led scheme in the country to have won government funding.

    'Educating people'

     
    Environment Minister Richard Benyon visited the site on Monday.
    Dewpond
    Defra said establishing dewponds would encourage birds, newts and other amphibians
     
    He said: "We're standing beside a classic Wiltshire downs dewpond.
    "What's really exciting about what we're announcing today is that this is going to be a feature people will see right across the Wiltshire downs."
     
    Chris Musgrave, estate manager at Temple farm in Rockley, near Marlborough, said: "All 41 farmers said they would be interested in joining together in terms of having wildlife corridors running through their estates, dewponds linking chalk grassland and also involving the community as well.
     
    "I think if you were walking down the Ridgeway, which is a spine going right through this area, you would see dewponds, you would see wildlife corridors.
     
    "It's educating people, it's getting people involved."
     
    Source: BBC News
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