Beals Preserve closed this week as part of the forrest is cleared

Above: The Beals Preserve coated in snow

The Beals Preserve — a quiet parcel of conservation land nestled between Main Street and Red Gate Lane — typically sees its share of nature lovers and dog walkers. This week it will play host to some heavy machinery instead.

The preserve will be closed to the public as equipment is brought in to clear about six acres of the forest. It’s part of a project to create a new shrubland habitat for at-risk species like the New England Cottontail and the American Woodcock.

The work is being managed by the Southborough Open Land Foundation, and funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program. The area to be cleared lies between the Horse Ring trail and the Wachusett Aqueduct in the northeast portion of the preserve.

The preserve will be closed all week while the cutting work takes place.

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