A POPULAR local nature reserve with an enviable record is set to expand with a further 100 acres being dedicated to wildlife conservation.

The Nosterfield reserve, in the Hambleton district, will grow to more than 250 acres and include two new lakes, a reed bed, magnesian limestone grassland and woodland area.

The site is managed by the Lower Ure Conservation Trust and director Simon Warwick said: “Thanks to the efforts of our volunteers we have enjoyed great success in attracting wildlife to Nosterfield.

"I’m certain we can continue to provide fantastic wetland habitats for some of our most cherished species which are often sadly in decline.”

Since the trust was formed in 1997, it has prided themselves on attracting important breeding populations such as lapwing, redshank, curlew and shoveler, and Nosterfield was the first place in North Yorkshire to host breeding avocets.

Plans for the new area are ambitious, with a priority to rejuvenate the reed bed to bring bitterns back to the reserve to breed once again.

In addition, there are already plans in place to further increase the area of shallow water and re-establish richer wetland habitats to benefit birds and other wildlife.

The reserve used to form part of the neighbouring sand and gravel quarry, operated by Tarmac. Over time Tarmac have worked with the trust to restore the area to a place for wildlife conservation.

Production manager Alan Coe said: “We hope that the ambitious plan the LUCT have for the extension of the reserve will attract many more species to the area and we look forward to working with them to achieve this.”

For more visit luct.org.uk