Carbon Landscape - Green transformation starts here
An ambitious project which will transform the landscape of Salford, Wigan and Warrington is now launched.
The Carbon Landscape will restore nature to areas transformed by industries like coal-mining, peat extraction and iron and steel production.
While much of that industry has closed down and work has already been going on for decades to create green areas, the Carbon Landscape project aims to connect these areas and get people involved in the restoration work.
The £3.2 million Heritage Lottery-funded project will be launched at Lancashire Mining Museum in Astley, where the last pit wheel in Lancashire still stands as a monument to the industry that ruled the region.
The Carbon Landscape Programme Manager Anna Hetterley said: "The heritage that this project focuses on is the natural and man-made heritage left behind after the closure of the Lancashire Coalfields and other extractive industries, such as peat and clay extraction. Collectively, we refer to this landscape as the Carbon Landscape.
"The Carbon Landscape is changing the way in which we approach landscapes and communities in Wigan, Salford and Warrington. Twenty-two interlinked projects will provide a forward-thinking and effective programme that will have lasting benefits for local communities and wildlife.
"Whilst this area undoubtedly has a rich heritage, both natural and man-made, the opportunities that this landscape can provide within a heavily urbanised area are largely missed. The Carbon Landscape will enhance and connect up the restoration of this landscape, altered by industry, creating and improving nationally significant habitats and reconnecting local people with the heritage and wealth of opportunities for enjoyment and learning on their doorstep."
The project aims to restore more than 130 hectares of habitat, train more than 1,000 volunteers, enthuse 4,500 members of the public and offer free education to 40 schools.
Projects include the Carbon Trail, a route linking wild space in between urban areas; Carbon Volunteers, getting people involved in improving the landscape and the Mossland Gateway to improve pedestrian and cyclist assess to Chat Moss; Hey Brook Revival a river restoration project the Mersey Rivers Trust will deliver with River Guardians.
Other plans include activities for all ages, an educational programme for schools, physical and online interpretation of the landscape and wildlife monitoring. There will be improvements on sites like Wigan Flashes, Risley Moss, Woolsten Eyes and Paddington Meadows in Warrington.
Partners include: the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, City of Trees, the Environment Agency, Greater Manchester Ecology Unit, the Mersey Rivers Trust, Inspiring Health Lifestyles, Natural England, Salford City Council, Wigan Borough Council, the University of Manchester, Warrington Borough Council and Woolston Eyes Conservation Group.
The Carbon Landscape is part of the Great Manchester Wetlands, a partnership of local authorities, statutory organisations, environmental charities and community groups. It was established in 2011 to deliver improvements to nature and wildlife of some 40,000 ha for the benefit of local communities.