A recreation area and pond will become a local nature reserve under plans set to go before Shropshire Council’s cabinet.

Ellesmere Town Council already owns the Birch Road Recreation area and pond in the town and would like it to become a nature reserve – but Shropshire Council needs to grant permission for such a move.

The council is set to approve the plans at a meeting of the cabinet on August 14.

In her report to cabinet members, Clare Fildes, interim head of culture and heritage, says: “Ellesmere Town Council owns the Birch Road Recreation Area and Pond and would like to designate the area a Local Nature Reserve.

“Shropshire Council has the power under the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 to dedicate land as a local nature reserve. 

“It is considered that it is beneficial to dedicate Birch Road Recreation Area as an LNR because it will improve local quality of life, health and wellbeing.  

“It will create opportunities for education, enjoyment and recreation, helping attract visitors and preserves links with the local community’s past.  

“It will safeguard local ecosystem services – the benefits nature provides for people – such as reducing carbon in the atmosphere or absorbing surface water and protect and enhance the natural heritage as a key part of building sustainable communities.

“It will also raise the nature conservation and recreation interest and give recognition of the site’s wildlife value.

“It will also give recognition of local community involvement and offer protection within the planning system from future development.”

She added: “Ellesmere Town Council has been working with Shropshire Wildlife Trust in respect of this proposal to ensure nature conservation and ecosystem services are safeguarded.

“The anticipated benefits if a Local Nature Reserve dedication in this location lead to the conclusion that it would be appropriate to formally delegate the council’s power to make a local nature reserve dedication in accordance with section 21.

“Ellesmere Town Council will therefore also be responsible for undertaking the necessary formalities to give effect to the dedication.”