Image by Darin Smith
While the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside is essentially a nature conservation charity, our voice is regularly heard when it comes to campaigning to protect wildlife.
We support and are supported by the 47 Wildlife Trusts in the United Kingdom, with 26,000 members in the region and 800,000 members nationally we represent a strong body of opinion when it comes to wildlife matters.
We are firmly opposed to the proposed badger cull and over ver the past couple of years have strongly campaigned against the it, calling for inoculation as evidence is strongly against killing these iconic and important UK mammals.
We believe that the problem is Bovine TB (not badgers) and the challenge is to control the disease.
Visit this page for more information on our Stop the Cull campaign.
We have joined our North West colleagues in calling for more protection for our seas and, in particular, the Irish Sea.
This campaign will continue until we get a network of MCZs around the UK, including designations for the Sefton Coast, the Ribble Estuary and the Wyre/Lune Estuary. All these areas are internationally important for wildlife.
Another high profile campaign has been the HS2 or High Speed rail line. As the Government campaign stressed the benefits to business in both the North and South for businesses, wildlife appeared to have been marginalised.
When the initial plans were announced the Wildlife Trust was shocked to hear that the route to Wigan would cut straight though vital areas of mossland and affected threatened species like the willow tit and water vole. It was also proposed that the line would include a “24-7” floodlit marshalling yard alongside the Lightshaw Meadows nature reserve, managed by the Wildlife Trust and Red Rose Forest, and also not far from our Abram Flashes nature reserve. Both locally and nationally, we asked Government to rethink their plans to offer more consideration for wildlife and its habitats.
On 15th November 2016 we were relieved to discover that the Department of Transport is consulting on withdrawing the marshalling yard proposal next to Lightshaw Meadows and Abram Flashes. However, we can’t relax yet. The consultation (see here) is open until 9th March 2017 and we will be responding to support the proposed relocation. This is a small but significant victory for our local advocacy, and that of other local people and groups, but we must remain vigilant.
Read about A Greener Vision for HS2 nationally, and how other local Wildlife Trusts are affected by HS2.
Fracking has been a prominent issue in the media and Salford and the Fylde have been at the forefront of campaigns for and against this controversial form of energy.
Locally the Wildlife Trust has asked a number of questions of the fracking companies and, without proper answers, we cannot support any fracking in the region.
We are certainly opposed to fracking on nature reserves with concerns over the effects on the local water supply and how the companies will dispose of the waste water.
Visit this link to find out more about the Wildlife Trusts' policy on fracking and also how you can sign up to a petition aimed at prohibiting fracking on protecting areas for wildlife.
Not only are mosslands a key habitat for endangered and rare species, but they also have the ability to store carbon dioxide. In an age where Climate Change issues are rife, mosslands hold the key to many concerns.
Recently the Wildlfie Trust has completed the purchase of Little Woolden Moss, in Salford, and Winmarleigh Moss, near Garstang. We have also been at the forefront of the fight to end peat extraction on Chat Moss.
Visit this link for information on our Mosslands campaigns.
The Wildlife Trust has been involved in consultations over the proposed Mersey Barrage tidal energy plans and will continue to monitor any movements and discussions.
The Wildlife Trusts has published its views in a document entitled Mersey Matters.
The Wildlife Trust is also supporting the RSPB as it attempts to protect hen harriers in the Forest of Bowland. We are happy for the RSPB to lead this campaign and believe they have the resources to boost numbers of this threatened raptor.
The Trust will continue to work tirelessly to protect wildlife and wildlife habitats in the region but, at the same time, we will campaign on a national basis too.