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Sites Earmarked as Nature Parks

It was announced on Friday 29th December 2006, that Ten new nature reserves could be created in Hyndburn as part of a multi-million pound plan.

The scheme included proposals to invest £1 million to transform an Accrington park into a 40-hectare wildlife park - which would be the largest in Lancashire.

The plan for the Coppice area in Accrington was the focus of the project when it was first announced in the summer.

But now it has been revealed that nine other, smaller areas are also being looked at.

The scheme is led by Lancashire Wildlife Trust (LWT), Hyndburn Council and Lancashire County Council's Remade regeneration project. Government guidelines state that a borough of Hyndburn's size should have at least 80 hectares of Local Nature Reserve (LNR). Foxhill Bank in Oswaldtwistle is Hyndburn's only LNR but is only nine hectares.

Now plans have been put in place that could see the10 other areas of parkland, recreation ground, reservoirs and paths designated as official LNRs. Daveen Wallis, from LWT, said they were also trying to get the sites protected as important wildlife areas open to the public.

She said: "Local Nature Reserves are often the easiest and most accessible way of encouraging community access to important wildlife places close to where people live and work. They also play a vital role in improving quality of life."

Public access and footpaths could be improved, there could be landscaping and tree planting as well as making them more habitable for wildlife.

Meetings seeking public support for the plans were set to take place. Officers at Hyndburn Council have taken the first steps in applying for a grant to fund a study into the wildlife at the sites.

Funding will be sought through sources such as English Nature, the Forestry Commission, the Environment Agency and the Remade programme.

Simon McCloskey, East Lancashire LNR officer for LWT, said: "Much work has already happened in the borough on this exciting project and we would like to continue to involve local people in the direction we are going. We now need to find a way forward for the designation of the wildlife reserves and make sure we have community involvement."

The potential sites are:

  • Star Delph Quarry/Harper's Clough, Rishton
  • Woodnook Vale/Priestley Clough between Accrington and Baxenden;
  • Arden Hall/Plantation Lodges/ Peel Park, Accrington;
  • Jackhouse Reservoir, Oswaldtwistle;
  • Brookside Reservoirs, Oswaldtwistle;
  • Holt Street Recreation Ground, Rishton
  • Whitebirk Marsh, Rishton
  • Round Wood in Memorial Park, Great Harwood
  • Disused Martholme to Padiham railway line near Huncoat
  • Canalside at Shaw Brook and Mill Wood, Rishton.

A public meetings were to take place at the Hyndburn Council offices in Ormerod Street, Accrington, to discuss the plans.

This list was shortened on Tuesday 27th November 2007, to five.

The plan for the Coppice area in Accrington was the focus of the project when it was first announced, but it was revealed that five other, smaller areas were also being looked at.

There were also proposals to invest £1 million to transform an Accrington park into a 40-hectare wildlife park - which would be the largest in Lancashire.

The 5 Potential sites were:

  • Star Delph Quarry/Harper's Clough, Rishton
  • Woodnook Vale and Priestley Clough between Accrington and Baxenden
  • Arden Hall, Plantation Lodges and Peel Park, Accrington
  • Jackhouse Reservoir, Oswaldtwistle
  • Brookside Reservoirs, Oswaldtwistle.

The scheme was led by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust (LWT), Hyndburn Council, and Lancashire County Council's Remade regeneration project.

Government guidelines at the time stated that a borough of Hyndburn's size should have at least 80 hectares of Local Nature Reserve (LNR). Foxhill Bank in Oswaldtwistle was Hyndburn's only LNR but is only nine hectares.

Now the plans have been put in place that could see the five other areas of parkland, recreation ground, reservoirs and paths designated as official LNRs.

A spokesman for LWT, said they were also trying to get the sites protected as important wildlife areas open to the public.

Public access and footpaths could be improved, there could be landscaping and tree planting as well as making them more habitable for wildlife.

As well as the five potential sites, council bosses may also in the future look at:

  • Holt Street recreation ground, Rishton
  • Whitebirk Marsh
  • Round Wood in Memorial Park, Great Harwood
  • Disused Martholme to Padiham railway line near Huncoat
  • Canalside at Shaw Brook and Mill Wood, Rishton.

 

References

Lancashire Telegraph, Friday 29th December 2006.