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Council challenged over future for nature reserves
A CONSERVATION charity has pulled out of a bid to run Bodenham Lake and challenged the Herefordshire Council to publically clarify its plans for the future of the reserve and nearby Queenswood.
Siren Conservation withdrew its own plan for Bodenham Lake after the council directed it to work with its preferred partner the community group New Leaf.
Now, Siren says it will focus on assuring the lake and surrounds are protected in perpetuity for people and wildlife.
Already, Siren has been instrumental in setting up the Friends of Bodenham Lake group.
Siren's Sasha Norris said the Friends wanted the council's position clarified at a public open meeting ahead of any asset transfer and answers to uncertainty over New Leaf's ability to run a nature reserve and meet the on-going six figure costs of managing both sites.
Bodenham Lake, the largest area of open water in the county, is up for grabs amongst a host of natural assets the council can longer afford to keep – as reported by the Hereford Times in February.
The council said it was continuing to work with New Leaf as its "preferred partner" with New Leaf, in turn, working with Hereford Nature Trust.
Siren submitted a proposal to manage Bodenham Lake after approaching New Leaf to offering expertise.
As previously reported by the Hereford Times, Siren saw the site as a self-sustaining showcase for all "green" Herefordshire could be and promised "substantial funds” to back its bid.