Coves Local Nature Reserve (LNR) is a 48ha area of mixed habitat mosaic. It is surrounded by the urban areas of Gourock and Greenock and is extensively used by local communities for informal recreation. It is within the ownership of Inverclyde Council and was formally declared a Local Nature Reserve in April 1998.
The area represents a significant local resource for both natural and cultural heritage. However, some key parts of the site have been neglected and local residents have come to view the park as a focus for anti-social behaviour.
Inverclyde Council sought to coordinate the future development and management of Coves Local Nature Reserve and, in 2010, commissioned TGP Landscape Architects to prepare a Management Plan for the site.
TGP Landscape Architects undertook an ecological assessment and topographical survey to obtain baseline information on biodiversity and habitats. They also conducted a community consultation and visitor survey to identify current levels and patterns of use as well as community aspirations for the site.
The resultant Management Plan highlights achievable actions to enhance the usage, management and biodiversity of the reserve. It links the development of Coves Local Nature Reserve to the policies and agenda of Inverclyde Council and suggests potential project partners and sources of funding.
The Coves Local Nature Reserve Management Plan was supported by the 2010 CSGN Development Fund. This funding provided an opportunity for the detailed development work to take place and has paved the way for practical implementation.
The Management Plan encourages the conservation and enhancement of the natural and cultural heritage of the Coves Local Nature Reserve. It highlights the value of the reserve as part of a larger Inverclyde green network and supports the CSGN theme of landscape action. The Management Plan also seeks to engage the local community and encourages the use of the Local Nature Reserve for the promotion of health and wellbeing.
Inverclyde Council is working with the Forestry Commission Scotland to establish a management arrangement for Coves Local Nature Reserve. It is also seeking funding and support from other sources to carry forward the recommendation made in the Management Plan.
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