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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 June 2006, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
Red squirrel forest 'stronghold'
Red squirrel
Hyndlee Forest is being turned into a haven for red squirrels
Two years of work to improve an area of Borders woodland have turned it into a haven for wildlife including the under-threat red squirrel.

A range of actions have been carried out to improve habitats in the Hyndlee Forest at Bonchester Bridge.

Conservationists hope the area can become a "stronghold" for the red squirrel which is under threat from the non-native grey squirrel.

Hobkirk Primary pupils joined celebrations of completing the work.

New multi-purpose trails and a car park are now in place for visitors.

Wildlife has been boosted with a range of work being undertaken to improve habitats for many species, including salmon and red squirrels.

A wide range of partners have been involved in the project with match funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

'Excellent opportunities'

"I'm very pleased for all the partners and local community who are to benefit from all the hard work that has been put into this project," Jeremy Thompson of the Forestry Commission Scotland said.

"Not only does Hyndlee now boast an environment in which biodiversity can flourish, it provides some excellent opportunities for the community and visitors to enjoy woodland recreation.

"Hyndlee is one of the commission's largest forests in the Borders, even bigger than the whole Tweed Valley Forest Park.

"Despite its size, Hyndlee isn't a forest that too many people have heard of.

"Now that this successful partnership project has been completed we are hopeful that more people will come to visit and enjoy what the woodland has to offer."

Grey squirrel cull bounties urged
11 Jun 06 |  Scotland
Cull plan to halt squirrel spread
17 May 06 |  North East/N Isles
Red squirrel extinction warning
27 Feb 06 |  Scotland
New push to protect red squirrels
11 Jan 06 |  Scotland
Red squirrels officer appointed
11 May 06 |  Highlands and Islands

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