AN OUTDOOR area near Whixall, which is home to a variety of wildlife species, has been made a local nature reserve by the parish council.

The Marl Allotment, or Marlot as it is known, is a piece of registered common land, situated between the Llangollen Canal and Whixall Moss.

The site is approximately six acres and is a mixture of meadow, woodland, scrub and ponds and as such, it lends itself to provide a range of habitats for a variety of wildlife species.

Owing to its ecological importance, Whixall Parish Council, with help from Natural England, has made the decision to declare the site a local nature reserve.

Amanda Roberts, clerk of Whixall Parish Council, welcomed the decision.

She said: "Earlier this year Shropshire Council agreed to delegate to the parish council the power to declare a local nature reserve.

"The declaration is the culmination of work carried out by the parish council and the Marlot Conservation Group with advice from Natural England.

"As a local nature reserve the Marlot has wildlife features that are of special interest locally.

"It offers visitors the opportunity to study and learn about the local environment and simply to relax and enjoy the surroundings.

"The parish council hopes that the designation will encourage more people to visit and enjoy the Marlot."