Colliery’s new life for people and nature

Wednesday 16th May 2018

A former colliery is part of a plan to attract more people to green spaces in Salford.

Ashtons Field, in Little Hulton, has already been transformed from its industrial past to a green area for local people.

Now those people will be encouraged to make the area more attractive for other visitors including wildlife.

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust and the Land Trust are embarking on a new 10-year partnership to manage a series of green spaces in Salford for the benefit of communities, businesses and nature.

The Wildlife Trust has been appointed as the managing partner by the Land Trust, which owns the land, and will be responsible for the management these areas, including the eight hectare Ashton’s Field.

The former colliery has been transformed over many years to create a vibrant green haven within a predominantly built up urban area. Many local people use the site and it includes a section of the Linnyshaw Loopline, a walking and cycling route between Little Hulton and Walkden. There is a series of locks but no canal! The canal is underground and part of a 52 miles of a subterranean network in the area.

Ashtons Field is a refuge for wildlife and people in a very urban area of Salford

The Wildlife Trust will work with schools and community groups to increase the number of individuals benefitting from Ashtons Field. The Trust will support and engage more local people to play an active role in managing habitats at the site to help improve the wildlife value at the site whilst also bringing people together to gain new skills, ownership and confidence.

The site has huge amounts to offer for local children and the Trust is keen to develop a brand new programme of activities which inspire and engage families with this site. All these activities will combine to help make Ashtons Field a better managed, well used site which benefits all sections of the local community.

James Hall, Senior Project Manager at Lancashire Wildlife Trust said: “We are really excited to be partnering with the Land Trust on this project. Like many of the greenspaces on which we have worked over the last 40-plus years, Ashtons Field provides an important refuge for both wildlife and people in what is a very urban area of Salford.

“The site has a range of habitats, including wetlands, woods, grassland and lowland heath; allowing this urban site to support a wide range of wildlife. Our officers will be utilising their expertise to engage and actively involve the local community in the management of the site for the benefit of local people and wildlife.”

Chief Executive of the Land Trust, Euan Hall, said, “We have selected a partner who we believe should be able to work closely with the community for us, encouraging volunteers. We are committed to improving the site and look forward to working in partnership with the Wildlife Trust to ensure that the local community and businesses can get involved in the decision making process for how the site is used to benefit those who live and work close to the green space.”

Anyone keen to get involved in the project can contact James here or on 01204 663754.