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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 February 2006, 20:32 GMT
Nature park born out of F&M site
Great Orton burial site
More than 500,000 animals are buried at Great Orton
The continued rebirth of a former foot-and-mouth burial site into a nature reserve is moving forward.

The Great Orton site in north Cumbria, was the scene of some of the most disturbing images of the outbreak.

Now the site, near Carlisle, has been turned into the Watchtree reserve after years of regeneration work backed by the government.

On Wednesday the group set up to run the reserve was signing a 25-year lease agreement to manage the site.

More than 500,000 carcasses are buried at Great Orton, which has been transformed into a haven for wildlife.

Endangered wildlife

The new reserve takes its name from the original farm which was on the site before World War II.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) helped set up a trust to manage the 60-acre site.

The site is now home to endangered wildlife, including red squirrels, birds, butterflies, wildflowers and newts.

A Defra spokesman said: "Defra will continue to support the site in future, retaining responsibility for management of any operations to do with the burials.

"Watchtree Nature Reserve Ltd will assume full responsibility for developing the site for ecological and educational purposes to benefit the environment and the local community.

"It is hoped that one day the site will become a wholly community run asset."

Grim mass burials go on
02 Apr 01 |  UK News

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