Funding boost for The Meres and Mosses of the Marches
Wednesday 4th April 2012
Nearly £1 million has been secured to conserve the internationally important wetlands of the meres & mosses.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has given a grant of £973,000 under its Landscape Partnership Scheme to a partnership led by Shropshire Wildlife Trust. The money will be spent in the heart of the meres and mosses of north Shropshire and south Cheshire, taking in the countryside around Ellesmere, Whitchurch, Whixall and the Cholmondeley Estate.
The money will restore nature reserves and support farmers in the creation of wildlife oases. New nature trails will be created to help people explore this amazing landscape. Events and activities will be arranged, including boating, angling and walking. Local people will be able to learn traditional skills such as making Cheshire cheese, or find out about the hidden secrets of the bog-lands. The scheme will also work with communities to deliver local landscape projects.
“We are absolutely delighted. This is the culmination of two years hard work by a wide range of partners,” said Angela Jones, Meres & Mosses Project Officer. “The meres & mosses are one of our best-kept secrets, but this project will help people discover their history, traditions and fabulous wildlife.”
The five-year project will start this summer. Included in the partnership are Shropshire Council, Natural England, the Environment Agency, Butterfly Conservation, the Community Council of Shropshire, Harper Adams University College, Cheshire Wildlife Trust and British Waterways.
The Meres and Moses of the Marches Landscape Partnership Scheme
The scheme covers 200 square km in north Shropshire, south Cheshire and just over the border into Wales and is integrated with the recently announced Nature Improvement Area (NIA). It will run for five years from summer 2012 - summer 2017. It will deliver projects which conserve the natural and cultural heritage on nature reserves, farmland and the WWII control tower at Prees Heath; projects which involve the community through parish planning, community grants, wildlife surveying, peat coring and archaeology; projects which improve access and learning through the creation of nature trails, improving disabled access, creating cycle routes, running events, improving education facilities and delivering education programmes to school; it will deliver heritage skills training, land management, skills to explore and discover and skills for fun. The scheme will employ four staff, a project manager, farming officer, community officer and administrative officer. Funding from other sources, including the NIA award, brings the total budget up to £1.5 million.