Green light for woodland to become reserve

A FIVE hectare area of woodland in St Leonards has been declared a local nature reserve protecting it for generations to come.

Ponds Wood will run for around half a mile from Stonehouse Drive right down to the Gillsmans Hill area.

Councillors at the borough council’s cabinet meeting gave the reserve the green light on Monday.

The move follows the transfer of the land surrounding Celandine Drive and Arbourvale as part of planning permission given for the many housing developments that are now there.

A report prepared by council officer Murray Davidson reveals how the area is ancient semi-woodland with streamside habitats. It states it is the most significant natural open space in the Gillsmans Hill and Hollington area of the borough. It provides easy access for local residents to experience a high quality natural asset in the middle of an urban environment.

Councillors unanimously backed the recommendation by Mr Davidson. But there was some confusion on the origins of Ponds Wood as the nearby industrial estate is known as Ponswood. But the borough solicitor confirmed Ponds Wood was the legal name at Land Registry.