CONSERVATIONISTS and volunteers who are breathing new life into an area of countryside on the edge of Hyde got a helping hand from local MP Jonathan Reynolds.
Gower Hey Woods - on the north western edge of Gee Cross - is a spot that's popular with visitors throughout the year.
The steep sided wooded valley - once the site of a mill and a waterwheel - is home to a broad range of wildlife, including owls, woodpeckers and nuthatches. And in the autumn the woodland - which includes oak, ash and cherry trees - provides a stunning show of colour.
Experts and volunteers are currently concentrating on an area of wetland, which provides habitat for amphibians, invertebrates and small mammals.
Over the past week they have dug out an area that will be fed by the stream when the project is complete.
It is hoped the project - undertaken by the Gower Hey Wood Conservation Group in conjunction with the Countryside Ranger Service and environmental conservation charity BTCV - will improve wildlife habitat and improve the experience of visitors.
And on Tuesday afternoon MP Jonathan Reynolds was joined at the site by a group of youngsters from nearby Dowson Primary School.
"We are lucky in Tameside to have a number of areas of countryside that can be enjoyed by residents and visitors," said Mr Reynolds.
"Gower Hey Wood includes areas where families can have picnics and where children can play games - as well as providing important habitats for wildlife.
"Members of the Conservation Group and the council's Countryside Ranger Service have been working together to improve the wetland area. And it was a privilege to be able to see this important work in progress.
"Once the work is complete I understand the area will be even better to support wildlife that relies on streams and wetlands, like frogs and newts. And there will be a platform to ensure visitors get a better view.
"Open spaces are really important and I know that Gower Hey Wood is really valued by the community in Hyde.
"Members of the Gower Hey Wood Conservation Group have worked hard to ensure the local community can fully appreciate the natural and industrial heritage of the Gower Hey Wood area. And their commitment and effort should be congratulated."
Published on September 20, 2011.