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Nature reserve status could lead to reservoir improvements

A reservoir in the Pentland Hills Regional Park could become a legally sanctioned Local Nature Reserve (LNR) under plans being put before the City of Edinburgh Council.

A West Lothian Council representative said that if the site were an LNR, it would allow the management group to apply for future grants, which are currently unavailable to the Council, to carry out further improvements around Harperrig Reservoir.

These would include amenity shelter belt planting and improvements to acces routes south of the reservoir.

A report entitled Harperrig Reservoir: Proposed Local Nature Reserve will be considered by the City of Edinburgh Council on Thursday 2 June 2011.

The report asks for Council approval for the finalised legal agreement. If approved, this document would then be referred to West Lothian Council to be progressed as part of the LNR declaration process.

Although Harperrig Reservoir is located within the West Lothian Council boundary, it is owned by the City of Edinburgh Council for reasons of flood risk management.

It is a joint aspiration of both local authorities to have the reservoir declared an LNR. In order for this to come to fruition, both councils must enter into a legal agreement. 

An LNR is a protected area of land designated by a local authority because of its local special natural interest and/or educational value.

LNR status is sought after for the positive environmental impact it can have on a site, through enhanced community involvement opportunities, wildlife conservation, educational opportunities and managed recreational uses.

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