Nature reserve to share its secrets

One of Britain’s youngest nature reserves is growing up and is ready to share its secrets.

Lunt Meadows officially opened in 2015, but only a few people knew about its varied wildlife and a human history that stretches back more than 9,000 years.

The Merseyside reserve, managed by the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside, is already famous for its displays of short-eared owls in late winter and spring, and its archaeological dig.

Now, a National Lottery Heritage Funded project in partnership with National Museums Liverpool and University of Chester will look to engage with the community, volunteers, Merseyside schools, and Chester University to find out how the future of the nature reserve will be shaped.

Project Development Manager Cheryl Knott said: “The project will give visitors to the site an understanding of how humans have interacted with the natural landscape over thousands of years, and how landscape changes over time”.

“Our development project, running until August 2019, will work with visitors and site users to find out why they feel the site is ‘special’. There will be chances to learn about how to ‘be an archaeologist’, learn to identify fauna and flora, and explore the reserve through augmented reality, which shows how Mesolithic hunters and gatherers may have lived.

“The Mesolithic hunter-gatherer dig has already attracted hundreds of visitors and there is a wonderful interactive display at the Museum of Liverpool. There is also an app which gives a taste of life 9,000 years ago if you come to the reserve with your phone.”

The site was originally bought by The Environment Agency and designed as a flood storage reservoir. The Wildlife Trust has worked with the flood management programmes to create wetland areas for many species of birds and insects.

Many species have been spotted on the site including barn owls, marsh harrier, glossy ibis and the rare water vole.

Learn more about the project