Community encouraged to discover hidden gems at Milton Locks nature reserve

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The rich history and wildlife of Portsmouth’s Milton Locks nature reserve is set to be discovered thanks to a £48,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust’s new Milton’s Hidden Seashore project will be an opportunity for the local community to discover this tucked-away two-acre reserve.

The charity is hoping to get the community involved in looking after the site, running educational groups and leading events.

The project will also work with local schools and groups with young people visiting the site and finding out more about local wildlife and history.

A shoreline safari will provide opportunities for hands-on close encounters with coastal wildlife and inspiring children and adults to take care of their hidden seashore.

There is a chance to identify and investigate the animals and plants of the Milton Locks grassland habitat and journey back in time to discover the historical tales of Bronze Age and Saxon archaeological finds, wrecked boats, legendary characters and even a mysterious ‘ghost’ canal.

Jess Daish-Miller, wildlife trust project leader said: ‘We can’t wait to share Milton Lock’s secrets with the local community.

‘It’s a unique site that not only brings a range of wildlife right to Milton’s doorsteps, but also has a lot to offer in teaching children and young people about local history too. If you know of a local education group that could benefit from an outdoor learning session at Milton Locks, do get in touch,’

Milton resident Kevin Doyle, said: ‘I have been a resident of Milton since 1977, during which time I have seen a gradual urban creep which threatens to undermine the wonderful and varied wildlife that inhabits the area.

‘In protecting this small yet significant part of the locks, you will be safeguarding a unique opportunity for city children to experience nature first hand.’

Schools, youth groups and others that work with young people are encouraged to get in touch with Jess Daish-Miller on Jess.Daish-Miller@hiwwt.org.uk.