WORK to encourage more people to take advantage of Weymouth and Portland’s natural beauty is receiving the thumbs-up from residents.

The Legacy Trail, which links Lorton Valley Nature Park to Portland Bill via the Wild Weymouth Discovery Centre at Radipole, Rodwell Trail and Chesil Beach Centre, provides access to the borough’s wildlife areas and signposts the way through a series of attractive waymarks reflecting the local setting and providing information on the area, wildlife carvings and seating.

Their installation has attracted praise from several quarters, including Dorset Echo reader Sylvia Jarvis.

In a letter to the editor, Mrs Jarvis commented on a walk she took to Church Ope Cove and said: ‘We were delighted to see the information boards back and the wall rebuilt – all long overdue.

“Even more exciting was the Portland stone ammonite depicting local wildlife, which has been worked into the ground.

“We sat on the seat and watched a good number of walkers stop and admire it.”

The creation of the trail has been overseen by Lyn Cooch, a coastal ranger with Wild About Weymouth and Portland, who is delighted by the response the work is receiving.

“It is so lovely to see people appreciating the work we have all put in to the trail,” she said.

“Its aim is to link the wildlife sites across the borough of Weymouth and Portland and to make people more aware of all the places they can go. You can walk it in one go, or do it bit by bit, whichever suits you best.”

Each waypoint is unique and has been designed by Shaun Seaman, an experienced dry stone waller and artist.

The Church Ope Cove ‘ammonite’ was chosen to reflect the rocky surroundings and just along the coast at Portland’s New Ground, the installation encourages further exploration of hidden landscapes and a greater understanding of the quarried landscape.

Each installation uses local stone either sourced from quarry companies in Portland or recycled from previous projects, such as walling stone from the old hospital on Portland.

Carvings depicting some of the local wildlife have been done by the Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust, with Sarah Gilpin contributing a lichen and common lizard for Church Ope Cove.

Sally Abbot has provided the fun drawings for the interpretation panels and further installations are planned for Radipole, Merchant’s Incline and Portland Bill. 

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