Nature loving volunteers needed at Hillsborough Nature Reserve

North Devon Gazette

A volunteer day is being held at Hillsborough on Thursday, December 16, from 9.30am to 3.00pm, and everyone is welcome to come along.Â

It is part of the Monument Management Scheme (MMS) being run by the North Devon Coast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) team and North Devon Council.Â

The day will begin with a guided walk around the reserve in the morning for those who would like to find out more about the history of this fascinating site, and there will be some practical tasks throughout the day.Â

At lunchtime there will be an informal discussion to gauge the interest of setting up a Friends Group and the next steps for those who would like to get involved.Â

As well as being a popular Local Nature Reserve, Hillsborough is also home to the remains of an Iron Age hill fort, the largest cliff castle in the south west, around 2000 years old. Though the wooden defences of this scheduled ancient monument have long since vanished with age, the high banks which formed the ramparts guarding the entrance of this impressive fort can still be seen. In the 1930s, workers disturbed what are believed to be even earlier bronze age burial cysts on the side of the hill, and bronze age artifacts have also been found in the local area.Â

Awarded and administered by Historic England, the MMS is a grant funded partnership scheme to enable work with local authorities and other trusted partners. Â The grant covered improvements to the condition, management and understanding of Scheduled Monuments and designated heritage assets. MMS often involve opportunities to engage volunteers and members of the public.Â

Leader of North Devon Council, councillor David Worden, says "Hillsborough is a nationally important ancient monument and, working alongside our partners in the AONB we are dedicated to preserving its history. Our parks team are grateful to any volunteers who give up their own time to come and help them in their endeavors. If a Friends Group can be formed to help preserve this monument, it would be a fantastic asset for the heritage of Ilfracombe."Â

Anyone interested in coming to the volunteer day should meet in Hillsborough car park at 9.30am and make sure they are wearing suitable clothing and footwear for the weather and terrain. They should also bring a packed lunch and something to drink.Â

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