A NEW volunteer group has been created to help users of a popular nature reserve manage and protect it for the future.
The Friends of Teesmouth, Seaton Common and Dunes group are working closely with Natural England and Hartlepool Borough Council who manage the area.
It is home to a wide variety of wildlife including various species of wading birds, amphibians and wild flowers.
The group was formed in May to help users play a bigger part in the land which stretches from the sand dunes at North Gare in Seaton Carew to Seal Sands.
It has got off to a strong start, but is appealing for more people to lend their support.
Jo Collins, Natural England’s outreach adviser at the reserve, said: “The friends group was set up in partnership with Natural England who manage the natural nature reserve and Hartlepool Borough Council who manage the dunes.
“We wanted more feedback from people about what was going on what their priorities were.
“That is what has happened. It is local people who are interested in and use the reserve to tell us what we should be doing and to stand up for it as well.
“It is a really good area for wildlife.
“It is about keeping it as a nice place to visit.”
The friends group meets on the third Monday of the month at Seaton Carew Library, in Station Lane, at 5pm.
Meetings have been attracting around a dozen people so far.
“We are looking for more people to join in,” added Jo.
“Just turn up and join in. Everyone is welcome.”
They are currently helping to look after six Dartmouth ponies on grassland behind the sand dunes at North Gare.
It is hoped their grazing will help orchid wildflowers to thrive.
The area is also home to over 3,000 toads and newts.
If you are interested in joining the group, contact Jo Collins on (01429) 853325 or email: Joannah.Collins@naturalengland.org.uk