AN ambitious five-year project which will enhance the landscape of Warrington, Salford and Wigan is underway.
The Carbon Landscape Project will bring back nature to areas transformed by industries like coal-mining, peat extraction and iron and steel production.
The £3.2 million Heritage Lottery-funded project that was launched at Lancashire Mining Museum in October aims to restore more than 130 hectares of habitat, train more than 1,000 volunteers and to enlighten local people on why their landscape is so special.
Warrington can boast many beautiful green spaces and there are improvements planned for several important sites in the area: Paddington Meadows which has some of the few remaining riverside meadows in the borough and some of the oldest Hawthorne hedge boundaries in Cheshire; Risley Moss will benefit from improved accessibility including a boardwalk that will enhance education and recreation use of their newly restored moss land habitat; Gorse Covert Mounds will see the restoration of its internationally rare peat bog- a vital wildlife steppingstone between Risley and Holcroft mosses and Woolsten Eyes will pioneer a new approach to wetland management in its creation of a dynamic wetland habitat for rare species such as Bittern and Black-necked Grebe.
Programme Manager Anna Hetterley said: “The Carbon Landscape is changing the way in which we approach landscapes and communities in Wigan, Salford and Warrington. Twenty-two interlinked projects will provide a forward-thinking and effective programme that will have lasting benefits for local communities and wildlife. Whilst this area undoubtedly has a rich heritage, both natural and man-made, the opportunities that this landscape can provide within a heavily urbanised area are largely missed. The Carbon Landscape will enhance and connect up the restoration of this landscape, altered by industry, creating and improving nationally significant habitats and reconnecting local people with the heritage and wealth of opportunities for enjoyment and learning on their doorstep.”
The Carbon Landscape will also create volunteering opportunities where communities can play an active role in improving and protecting valuable green spaces for the benefit of people and wildlife.
Anthony Da Silva, Carbon Landscape volunteer co-ordinator said: “Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, gain new skills and can bring about many benefits for leading an active healthy life. We’d really like to hear from people who would like to be part of creating something special in their community.”
Up and coming events include: a scrub clearance day on Saturday October 21 (10am-4pm) at Gorse Covert Mounds in Birchwood and an information day at Birchwood Mall on Saturday November 4 (10am-4pm).