The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside have completed work on a new multi-user footpath through Brockholes Wetland and Woodland Nature Reserve, on the line of the Ribble Way Public Footpath.
For the some years, the Trust have been working to secure this site of national environmental importance and restore habitats to their full potential.
The new multi-user footpath will be part of the Preston Guild Wheel cycleway, which will form a complete circuit round the city in time for the 2012 Preston Guild, with this section covering over one thousand metres,
In addition, the Trust have reshaped a two hectare island in the middle of the main lake on the reserve to create habitat for ground-nesting birds, and have blended the edges of the lake to make underwater refuges for insects and invertebrates' and create low lying areas for reed beds.
DEFRA's Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF), managed by Natural England, have contributed over £100,000 to this work which helps to complete the bulk of the restoration of this former sand and gravel quarry for nature conservation
Brockholes Project Manager Ian Selby said: "The support ALSF have given us has made it possible for us to establish a range of habitat on the reserve that will be maturing in time for it to be opened to the public in 2011. Natural England have been a massive supporter of the work to improve biodiversity on the reserve and help improve access for all."
The total ALSF investment in Brockholes is £320,000, with £123,000 committed for this specific project. This was matched by funding from Newlands, the Northwest Regional Development Agency and Forestry Commission land regeneration programme which has invested a total of £8,600,000 to purchase and develop the site.
Further funding for the development of Brockholes has included £446,000 from the Lancashire Environmental Fund and £350,000 from The Tubney Charitable Trust.