Carbon Landscape project

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 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.

The Carbon Landscape Partnership operates at the heart of the Great Manchester Wetlands Nature Improvement Area, offering a step change in the conservation and enhancement of the unique natural and cultural heritage of the Nature Improvement Area.

The Carbon Landscape is a 3.2 million pound Heritage Lottery Funded landscape scale initiative with the ambition to make a step change in the restoration of an ancient landscape transformed by industry.

Today’s landscape has developed from a Carbon base - coal measures and peat deposits. The coal and peat extraction 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 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: Wigan Flashes 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.

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.

Our aims are to:

1. Restore a diverse landscape, ensuring connectivity and resilience in an area facing significant threats
2. Reconnect people with their landscape through improved access, increased learning and volunteering opportunities
3. Instil pride and engender community ownership in our Carbon Landscape, providing skills for local people, groups and beneficiaries to become custodians for our future

If you would like to find out further information about the project click here.

Watch the below video for a brief overview of the project's aims, objectives and vision over the next five years.




The Project Manager is Anna Hetterley

If you woud like to get involved or would like further information please contact us at:

We are also on social media platforms, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Our #firststeps campaign is all about how you can get out and get involved in the Carbon Landscape. It’s about interaction, education and making a connection with your local wildlife and wild spaces. It’s about learning new skills, going somewhere you’ve never been before or looking at something in a different way. The Carbon Landscape is a wonderful, wetland world just waiting to be explored! Join us and share your #firststeps on our social media pages as we will be celebrating this amazing landscape right on your doorstep.