Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

We know it is an uncertain time for everyone and our usual way of life will be very different for a while.

'We're Good to Go'

Wednesday 14 October

Brockholes Nature Reserve, Mere Sands Wood and The Cafe at Moss Bank Park have all been awarded Visit England's 'We’re Good To Go’ COVID-19 industry standard. This means that all visitors can rest-assured that we have read and implemented the Government’s COVID-19 reopening guidance, understand the guidance from Public Health England and have a COVID-19 Risk Assessment in place.

The Good to Go accreditation has been awarded to Lancashire Wildlife Trust

New reserve opening hours

Wednesday 15 July

We're so pleased to be able to tell that we've re-opened many of our larger nature reserves with car parks and visitor facilities, including:

  • Brockholes car park, play area and Visitor Village
  • Mere Sands Wood car park
  • Moss Bank Park cafe
  • Heysham Nature Reserve car park

We're still working on re-opening our other sites in a way that will be as safe for you, our staff and the wildlife as possible - it will be worth the wait!

Read our re-opening details in full

Reconnecting to nature, safely

Friday 19 June 2020

We wanted to reach out to our visitors and supporters to update you on the work we're doing to get ready to re-open our nature reserves.

As a small charity we've faced huge challenges in recent weeks, with increased footfall on many of our sites and a reduced team of staff here to look after them.

We care for nearly 50 nature reserves in our region and although the gates have been closed to our car parks, our nature reserves are accessible by foot and so have been used considerably during the last few months. Our teams are now working hard to catch up with maintaining these sites, so that they are safe and accessible for visitors. We're working on installing new signage, one-way systems and contactless payment options.

Ben Turpin, LWT SHE Advisor, conducting health and safety checks

Ben Turpin, LWT SHE Advisor, conducting health and safety checks

A phased reopening

We can understand your frustration when you're seeing other organisations open their sites to visitors. But we are a wildlife charity – nature needs to be at the heart of the decisions that we make, and although we know connecting people with nature is a huge part of that, we need to be confident that we are ready to re-open in a safe and sustainable manner.

We're taking a phased approach to re-opening and have started with a pilot nature reserve, Lunt Meadows in Merseyside. We have re-opened the nature reserve car park and installed new directional signage and guidelines, to see if the new systems and precautions we have put in place are robust enough to roll out to our other nature reserves.

Our next steps will be opening our other nature reserve car parks and we're working hard to ensure this happens as soon as possible. Our visitor centres will follow once Government guidelines allow us to do so. We are having to be very cautious with our approach to opening to ensure that our delicate nature reserves and our small team are not overwhelmed with visitors.

Thank you for your continued support and patience. We'll be in touch with more specific re-opening details very soon.

An update for our visitors from CEO Anne Selby

Coronavirus Organisational Risk Assessment

Become a member

Help us weather the storm

Many of you are members already, but if you aren’t, it would mean the world if you would consider joining at this time. Not only will it help us weather the continuing storm of COVID-19, but your membership will help us protect the wildlife you love for years to come.

Join today

Guy Edwardes/2020VISION

Responding to new government guidelines

Wednesday 13 May

Following the Government’s announcements to ease restrictions on Sunday, we know many of you will be keen to see our closed sites reopen. As a Trust, we take the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers very seriously. Many of our staff remain on furlough, which is helping us secure the future of our charity while so many of our income sources remain on ‘pause’.

Our task and monitoring team have been doing an excellent job of looking after our wild places, and sadly tackling the rising anti-social behaviour. Litter is at an all-time high with footfall increasing significantly on many sites that were once rarely visited.

We would love to open our doors to you again at our most popular sites such as Brockholes, Mere Sands Wood and Lunt Meadows, but we must ensure we have the measures in place to do so safely. Whilst we have thoroughly enjoyed watching wildlife flock to these sites, we do not feel it is quite the time to encourage people to do the same.

It is crucial that any wildlife which has ‘moved in’ to more public areas is protected. At Little Woolden Moss, we have recently closed some of the paths as we have seen birds nesting very closely to them.

Wildlife has been helping us all through this difficult time in so many ways, and we hope that many will emerge from isolation with a newfound love and care for our natural world. We must repay the favour now and work hard to secure nature’s recovery.

We all have an individual role to play in the fight against this pandemic, and as an organisation we are committed to playing a collective and positive role. For now, our car parks will remain closed. We will let you know as soon as we are able to open them. Our visitor centres will follow later and when it is safe to do so, and we have all the measures in place. We will keep you all informed.

Thank you for your continued support and patience through this, it has been wonderful to see so many of you stepping up for wildlife when it’s needed most. Thanks to you, we can continue to care for our local wild places.

Anne Selby - CEO

Weathering the storm

Thursday 16 April

Over the past month we've had to furlough staff, close our Visitor Centres and car parks, close many of our income streams and turn our away our passionate volunteers. We aren't a cash-rich Trust and don't have the resilience to survive this long term, but we're determined to do everything we can to not only come through the other side, but continue putting nature into recovery.

If you're a member of your local Wildlife Trust, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. Wildlife really does need you now more than ever.

Find out more

Creating a task force for nature

Monday 6 April

The COVID-19 virus outbreak is placing severe restrictions on our working lives, but we will continue to work, under strict controls, to ensure our nature reserves remain perfect and safe habitats for wildlife.

It's with great sadness that we've had to make the tough but necessary decision to furlough 45 per cent of our wonderful staff. Though this will help our small charity weather the storm of COVID-19, it does mean that, in the meantime, there will be even more pressure on our nature reserves. So we can continue protecting these wildlife refuges and the creatures that depend on them, and safeguard the health of our remaining conservation team, we've formed a monitoring and response team approach to reserve work.

Find out more

Closures to Seaforth and Lunt Meadows

Friday 3 April

In order to continue protecting public health as best we can, and to help people abide by government guidelines, we have taken the decision to close Seaforth Nature Reserve and the car park at Lunt Meadows.

We want you to continue to enjoy your visits to Lunt Meadows by foot, but please can we respectfully request that you do not use the local areas as alternative parking to ensure there is not a wider impact on our local community.

Government guidance on access to green spaces

Wednesday 1 April

The government’s priority is to save lives and the best way to protect yourself and others from illness is to stay at home.

However, exercise is still important for people’s physical and mental wellbeing, so the government has said people can leave their homes for exercise once a day.

Please use the following guidance in order to stay safe:

  • Stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily.
  • You should only go outside alone or with members of your own household.
  • Keep at least two metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times.
  • Gatherings of more than two people in parks or other public spaces have been banned and the police will enforce this.
  • If you have a garden, make use of the space for exercise and fresh air.
  • Take hygiene precautions when you are outside, and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors.

More information from Gov.uk

Brockholes Nature Reserve closed

Tuesday 24 March

Going from the latest Government guidelines regarding COVID-19, Lancashire Wildlife Trust has taken the decision to close the gates to Brockholes from this evening.

This is for the health and safety of our visitors and staff and we will be reviewing the situation and following Government advice weekly and hope to be open again very soon.

Once again, thank you to all our visitors for your continued support at this unprecedented time. Please enjoy nature and wildlife in your own homes and gardens and follow our social media channels for ideas to keep you busy in this isolation period.

We promise to be back soon and can't wait to see you there.

Gates closed

Brockholes Visitor Village and all visitor centres closed

Friday 20 March

With the announcement from the Government this evening, we are very sad to say that tonight we will be pulling up our drawbridge and closing the Visitor Village at Brockholes and closing our facilities at Mere Sands Wood and Moss Bank Park, until further notice.

We can’t thank our wonderful visitors, staff and volunteers enough for your support recently. Nature is still open for business, you can still visit our nature reserves, please take care of them if you do and help us keep them special for everyone who visits, including the wildlife.

We know some places are offering free parking and we understand why, but our parking charges at Brockholes and Mere Sands Wood will still apply. We are a small charity facing a huge income loss and we are determined to keep going to look after local wildlife, and the people in the communities where we work.

Rest assured, we will be back and when we are we will need your support more than ever!

Take care of yourselves and your loved ones, and don’t forget to spend some time enjoying nature wherever you can.

A message to all of our supporters

Thursday 19 March 2020

As an organisation, we take our role in our communities seriously and we are aware that, for many, we are an essential part of their social contact.

This is a rapidly evolving situation and we have an internal task team focusing on this to ensure we are making the best decisions hour by hour. We already know how critical nature is to health and wellbeing, but now it seems that nature will be a lifeline to many.

For those who are unable to get outdoors, our teams are busy working to pull together ways in which you can enjoy natural wellbeing in your gardens, or share your favourite nature moments with us online.

The safety and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and visitors is our priority and we are closely following Government guidelines. As the situation changes daily, so will our actions accordingly.

We are, as yet, uncertain of the long-term impact. Our teams are still working hard to protect nature on your behalf, whilst taking the necessary precautions. I would ask that you please continue to support us if you are able to. Your local wildlife needs you now more than ever.

I know many of you will have concerns, many of you will be required to isolate from your usual routines and social interactions. The Wildlife Trust movement has an army of supporters - you are and always will be part of this force for nature. And you can be sure we will be here for you and our wonderful wildlife however we can.

We may be facing the unknown, but we can work together and keep our wild community sharing the wonders of the natural world together, however we can.

We will be stopping all volunteering activities and events until further notice, but we will keep our reserves open for as long as we can.

For now, the cafes at Brockholes and Moss Bank Park will remain open. 

Mere Sands Wood nature reserve will remain open, but the visitor facilities will not. Our other nature reserves remain open.

In our visitor centres we are taking extra precautions, including card only payments.

Let’s keep working together to ensure the wildlife of Lancashire, Manchester and Merseyside is still in our hearts and minds.

Anne Selby
CEO – The Lancashire Wildlife Trust