Great Manchester Wetlands

Great Manchester Wetlands

The Great Manchester Wetlands is a diverse landscape of water, fen, wet grassland, wet woodland and lowland raised bog.

It is a Nature Improvement Area covering some 48,000 hectares, focusing on the Wetlands of Wigan (The Flashes), the mosslands of Chat Moss and Risley Moss to the west and southwest of Manchester, and the Mersey Wetlands corridor stretching from Rixton to Warrington.


The Great Manchester Wetlands Partnership

Creating a living landscape between Manchester and Merseyside

An essential network of wildlife corridors will link biodiversity across the landscape and allow wetland habitats to thrive and survive. The partnership, led by Lancashire Wildlife Trust, with over 20 partners, was formed in 2011 and the GM Wetlands was given Nature Improvement Area status in 2013. 

Vision: By 2025 the Great Manchester Wetlands can be a thriving, resilient and inspirational landscape that delivers real benefits to the local community.

Explore the Carbon Landscape (c) Jill Jennings

(C) Jill Jennings

The Carbon Landscape

The Carbon Landscape is GM Wetlands' flagship programme, delivering £3m of community, skills, education, heritage, access and habitat restoration and connection projects over five years.

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Mossland by Matthew Roberts

Carbon Capture

Restoring the degraded mosslands will lock up the millions of tonnes of carbon held within the peat and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The potential of mossland habitat both as a refuge for rare plants and wildlife coupled with its function in storing carbon is finally being recognised. We would like to go further, by exploring alternative land uses that re-wet the peatlands, reducing current damaging carbon emissions.

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Bringing species back from the brink

We are reintroducing locally extinct butterflies, rare dragonflies, and other native insects and plants onto mosses which are vitally important for wildlife and the environment.

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The large heath butterfly is one of the species we're reintroducing in the Great Manchester Wetlands. Photo: Steve Rawlins - Chester Zoo

Want to find out more?

Click here to download a report that outlines what we want to achieve through the Great Manchester Wetlands partnership, how we will do it and who we will work with to restore this important landscape.