Page last updated at 12:36 GMT, Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Beauty spot's 214,000 makeover

Hengistbury Head in Bournemouth
Hengistbury Head is a popular destination for walkers

A beauty spot in Dorset is to undergo a 214,000 makeover to protect it for the future and reduce the impact of its one million visitors.

A number of improvements will be made to Hengistbury Head and Wick Fields.

They include revamping the footpath system and constructing a boardwalk, said Bournemouth Borough Council.

The scheme, to be completed by 2010, is being funded by the Heathland Mitigation Scheme and a 30,000 Natural England Access Land Fund grant.

Prevent erosion

Councillor Beverley Dunlop, cabinet member for economy and tourism at Bournemouth Borough Council, said: "By improving the footpaths and raising awareness and understanding of the nature reserve, we can reduce the impact of the one million people that visit there each year.

"Better access for disabled users will also ensure that everyone is able to enjoy the beauty of the area."

The upgrade of the footpath and the construction of a boardwalk across Whitepits Dunes will get under way early next year.

The work aims to prevent erosion of the cliff top and improve access for disabled users.

The boardwalk, which will be largely constructed using timber removed from the Piers in Bournemouth, is due to be completed by Spring 2009.

The last phase of the project, which will be completed by 2010, is to introduce new signage, a self-guided trail from Hengistbury Head to Wick Fields and an information leaflet illustrating the routes and natural history of the area, the council said.

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