Council finalises deal to buy 34-acre nature reserve south of Horsham
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The site – known as Bramber Brooks – has public access, a private nature reserve and a community orchard.
The council says that its acquisition of the land will benefit local communities and provide a vital boost to local biodiversity, as well as help the council achieve its goal for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The Bramber Brooks site is already well-used by local people and has strong links with the local community through schools and scout groups.
A council spokesperson said that adding Bramber Brooks to the council’s countryside estate will benefit the district by retaining public access to the land for residents and visitors and enhance biodiversity improvements via a fully funded Environment Agency approved project to create more wetland areas.
The council says that other improvements could include the introduction of seasonal cattle grazing, thistle and bramble scrub control, formal rights of way improvements and improved signage for users.
It maintains that the land will also contributeto the council’s ‘Wilder Horsham District’ initiative delivering improvements to habitats and wildlife along the River Adur, as part of a wider nature recovery network.
Horsham District Council cabinet member for leisure and green spaces Jon Olson said: “We’re excited to confirm our acquisition of Bramber Books is now complete, and that ongoing public access has been secured for the local community.
“Managing this land within our countryside estate will also guarantee that proposals to improve the biodiversity of the site can move forward.
“This opportunity really underlines the council’s commitment to address the climate and ecological emergencies we all face, as we take real action to achieve net zero carbon emissions for our district and look to inspire greener futures.”
In March last year landowners Riversong Ltd first announced that they were selling the 34 acres at Bramber Brooks where they had championed a number of conservation projects over the previous six years turning it into a valued community asset. Projects included the creation of the Bramber Community Orchard and creation of the nature reserve.