A NATURE reserve is set to undergo a �58,000 revamp, in a bid to encourage wildlife.

Work is set to start at Purwell Meadows Local Nature Reserve in Hitchin, this month.

Hedgerows along Willian Road and Purwell Lane will be restored and replanted, fencing will be replaced, and access for people will be improved with the creation of new entrance and river crossing points.

The river banks will also be restored to encourage water voles, and wetland habitat will be enhanced for birds and wildlife.

Cllr Peter Burt, environment portfolio holder at site owner North Herts District Council (NHDC), said: “We are delighted to enhance Purwell Meadows.

“The improvements will benefit both the community who visit and enjoy the local nature reserve and the habitat for the wildlife that lives there. We are proud to be supporting such a worthwhile project.”

NHDC has funded some of the project, with Herts County Council and (HCC) Veolia Environmental Trust also contributing.

Richard Thake, cabinet member for environment at HCC, said: “I am certain this project will make a significant enhancement to the banks of the river and to wetland area, improving it for both people and wildlife.

“I understand there will be new signs installed and information panels to help visitors get full enjoyment from this beautiful environment.”

The Veolia Environmental Trust’s McNabb Laurie added: “We are happy to support this project, with its objectives of improving access to the meadow so people can enjoy it all year round and boosting its habitat potential for a wide range of species.

“I look forward to seeing it completed.”