The industrial landscape that dominated south Lancashire is being transformed into one of the greenest areas of the North West. The Carbon Landscape project will bring together previous restoration achievements with new works without losing sight of the ground-breaking heritage that made the region famous.
The Great Manchester Wetlands Partnership will be involving the community to improve and celebrate the environment, and the project aims to enhance the rich ecological network between the two heavily urbanised areas of Greater Manchester and Merseyside.
An initial bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a five year Carbon Landscape project has been successful – development work is now underway and it is hoped that full approval for the project worth around £3m will be granted at the end of next year.
The programme area covers former coalfields to the north and west and mosslands and riverside environments to the south providing a combination of peatscapes and brownfield sites. Three core zones have been identified:
- The Flashes
- The Mosslands
- The Mersey Wetlands Corridor
Each contain a rich array of key sites, for example: Abram Flashes SSSI and Leeds Liverpool Canal in The Flashes; Risley Moss SAC/SSSI and Bridgewater Canal in the Mosslands; and, Woolston Eyes SSSI and Rixton Clay Pits in The Mersey Wetlands Corridor.
Today’s landscape has developed from a Carbon base - coal measures and peat deposits - and it has been dominated by the devastation of the extractive industries. These industries have left their mark on the landscape, but part of the legacy is an extraordinarily rich and diverse natural heritage. Today, this landscape is primarily wetland in its form, characterised by open water, fen, wet grassland, wet woodland and lowland raised bog. This is a Carbon Landscape, not just in terms of the underlying geology and evolution of the landscape, but also in terms of industrial and cultural heritage, and of the ability of this landscape to adapt and mitigate against climate change. The restoration of the peat base to lowland raised bog will provide an excellent opportunity for carbon sequestration and storage.
The Carbon Landscape has strongly influenced the economic and cultural development of surrounding communities. The Landscape Partnership presents an important opportunity to reaffirm the relationship between community and landscape into the future, strengthening and enhancing both.
Whilst the area is rich in assets, there is a need for ongoing restoration within these key sites and there is a lack of connection between them. Further, continued efforts are required to maximise their value as community assets for access and recreation. The project therefore has 3 broad objectives:
- Restoration – to continue restoring a derelict landscape ensuring connectivity and resilience
- Access – to reconnect people to the landscape
- Understanding – to raise awareness and develop community ownership in the landscape
The next stage of the bid is to bring together partners and projects into a coherent whole.
We need your opinions!
Anybody interested in helping out with, or volunteeriing for this project, please complete this short survey below.
If you woud like to get involved or would like further information please contact Daveen on:
T: 01772 324 129