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New countryside site for Herefordshire
South Wye Regeneration Partnership, Herefordshire Council, Belmont Rural Parish Council and Hereford City have worked closely together to finally complete the purchase of Belmont Pools. This taking place shows the true value that can be achieved from working together.
Belmont Pools make up sizeable lakes on the doorstep of Hereford City and they are both an important recreational resource and valuable wildlife habitat and the intention will be to make them properly accessible to the public as soon as is practically possible.
Will Lindesay, South Wye Regeneration Partnership, Chair said: We are absolutely delighted that this purchase has now taken place and look forward to developing an action plan to take the development of the pools forward.
Thanks to the commitment and interest shown from the community, we will be able to develop this into a wonderful recreational space. We will be working with our partners to distribute a leaflet to local residents and plan to have a community meeting in the new year to advise on progress and plans, he added.
Rob Hemblade, interim parks, countryside and leisure development manager at Herefordshire Council, said although the county benefits from its many rivers, stretches of open water such as lakes and pools are quite rare so this site will offer a tranquil place for local people to visit and enjoy.
The Pools are also a haven for wildlife and important for many waterbirds such as swan, heron, various species of ducks, moorhens and other waders which inhabit or visit the pools as well as the wealth of other wildlife that the water supports.
The next step is for the Countryside Service with its Partners is to produce and implement a management plan for the site to bring the pools and surrounding woodland back into appropriate management for both wildlife and public access, and carry out repair work on the dams,Ã¢â‚¬ he added.
The purchase of the pools also brings Herefordshire one step closer to the realisation of the proposed Haywood Country Park for south Hereford.
The pair of man-made pools on the A465 south west of Hereford are near to Belmont Abbey and next to Newton Coppice. Not too much is known about their history - many people assume they were created as fishing pools for Belmont Abbey, however the Pools appear on the tithe maps of 1839, pre-dating the Abbey, which was not built until 1854.
In more recent history they were used by the former Bulmers Fishing Club whilst being in private ownership.
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