A PROJECT to transform a former Carlisle golf course has split opinion.

The restoration project at Swifts golf course is one of ten new projects by the Wildlife Trust coalition across England and Wales.

The transformation of the 42-acre ex-golf course in Carlisle will see it turned into an urban bee and butterfly oasis.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust are working on the project alongside Carlisle City Council, who own the golf course.

The trusts have raised almost £8m, including £900,000 from the public, since launching a campaign six months ago to drive the recovery of nature across 30 per cent of land by 2030.

The effort to boost the recovery of nature, to reverse declines over recent decades, is backed by broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough, who said: “If given a chance – nature is capable of extraordinary recovery.

“The Wildlife Trust's campaign to secure 30 per cent of our land and sea for nature’s recovery by 2030 offers us the vision and level of ambition that is urgently needed to reverse the loss of nature, and so improve all our lives.”

Of the 10 projects, there is a second scheme in Cumbria by the county’s wildlife trust, which will see the improvement of 30 acres of hay meadows at Bowber Head Farm, near Ravenstonedale.

These will be restored to top condition to encourage more northern specialities such as wood crane’s-bill, melancholy thistle, and saw-wort.

Here’s what readers said about the news of the Carlisle golf course’s transformation.

Phil Rickerby said: “Another good little course left to ruin. Many golfers started to play on the swifts as kids – it’s a shame.”

Lynn Bush and Wendy E. Lovering were both more optimistic about the move, commenting “good” and “brilliant”, respectively.

Stephen Fell was pleased to see that the golf course would be put to use, but added that he was cautiously optimistic.

He said: “Great, but it won’t take long for it to be littered with bags of dog excrement.”

For more information, visit the Cumbria Wildlife Trust website.