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New visitor area at Black Down

Black Down

Published at 8:26am 11th October 2018. (Updated at 1:25pm 11th October 2018)

A new car park and picnic area have been officially opened at Black Down, close to Hardy's monument.

Black Down is the highest point on the South Dorset Ridgeway. Its height gives visitors excellent views over the Jurassic Coast and Portland. It is also a haven for local wildlife including the Nightjar and Raven.

It has a network of walking trails across open heath and through woodland. And it's a favourite with dogwalkers and ramblers.

Dorset County Council, who own the land and Dorset AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) have created a new visitor area, including parking, new paths and sculpture with the help of grants from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Arts Council England.

Thanks to National Lottery players, HLF has invested over £1.8m in the South Dorset Ridgeway Landscape Partnership.

Stephen Boyce, Chair of the HLF South West Regional Committee: "This new visitor area is a great example of the difference National Lottery players can make. I am very pleased to see the approach taken by the South Dorset Ridgeway Landscape Partnership in bringing better access to this remarkable landscape together with opportunities for art (sculpture) and traditional skills."

Alongside free parking for 30 cars, there are picnic areas and new surfaced trails that link to existing paths including up to the Hardy Monument. New landscape-inspired sculptures have also been added to this area.

Cllr Hilary Cox, Chair of Dorset County Council said : "A few years ago I championed the project to obtain Black Down for the benefit of the people of Dorset, as well as the important wildlife that thrives on such rare heathland sites. I am delighted by what we have achieved in partnership (with Dorset AONB and The Arts Development Company, with support from the National Lottery and Arts Council England.) and that many more people can enjoy Dorset's heritage and the wellbeing associated with time outdoors in nature."





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