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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 May 2006, 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK
Park gains nature reserve status
Hastings Country Park (picture from Hastings Borough Council)
The park already attracts more than 500,000 visitors each year
A stretch of coastline in East Sussex has been declared a nature reserve to help protect the area for future use.

Hastings council said the new status for Hastings Country Park will increase awareness of the area and provide more protection for wildlife.

"Nesting barn owls have recently returned, as well as ground nesting birds and we have rare insects," a spokesperson said.

To achieve the status the council had to work with English Nature.

The site is also of special scientific interest because of dinosaur bones and footprints found in the cliffs.

The council can now introduce bylaws for paths and access to the park, which attracts more than 500,000 visitors each year.

Councillor Peter Pragnell, leader of Hastings Borough Council, said: "We are committed to managing this fantastic asset and maintaining the unique ecological, geological and archaeological sites."

Mr Pragnell added the park will have improved access, information boards and a new visitor centre.




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