It's just thirty years since the colliery headgear came crashing down at Bold Colliery. Situated right next to a power station, this was one of the most industrial sites in the country. Now, nature has taken over and it's transformed into a tranquil green space with woods, lagoons and more.
On Sunday May 7th as part of Walk in the Woods month there's an opportunity to get the lowdown on the nature of this incredible space with our guided walk from local naturalist Tom Ferguson. The walk will focus particularly on the recent summer arrivals in the bird population and the wildflowers in bloom.
Meet at 2pm at the Millennium Bridge (the bridge over the railway line, marked with the blue walking symbol on the map below) that separates Colliers Moss north and south. The walk will be around Colliers Moss North.
We're looking for landowners in the area to sign up now. We need a total combined landholding of 2,000 hectares to sign up to make the Sankey Catchment area eligible
for the fund.
If successful, we'll be able to support grant applications to help landowners improve their land - including developing natural solutions to flooding. Working together and using a 'landscape scale approach' means these grants can cover land under existing agri-environment and forestry/woodland agreements, common land and land not currently covered by a scheme.
We'll be able to directly help landowners to:
We need local landowners to register their interest as soon as they can - this is a time limited opportunity!
This is because a number of exotic tree pests and diseases have entered the UK in recent decades, such as the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus which causes ash dieback and Phytophthora ramorum, the pathogen known to cause sudden oak death.
Forestry Commission England's Tree Health Team is constantly battling the spread and impact of tree pests and diseases. We joined the team for a packed out event recently in Liverpool (pictured) looking at the current state of tree health and pests and some of the action being taken to reduce threats to trees. You can view all the presentations from the day.
We need people to learn more about tree diseases and the signs and symptoms. You can read about the main tree diseases and pests on the Forestry Commission website.
If you see trees that you suspect are diseased, you can report it to the Forestry Commission's Tree Health Team using the Tree Alert service.
For general enquiries about tree health in relation to trees, woods and forests:
Last week the Mersey Forest Team accompanied officers from the Merseyside and Cheshire Mid-Mersey Flood Coast Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) and Mersey Forest Partnership to visit Howard Street and view the experimental trees. We're working on similar projects within our area and are keen to learn from the Salford experiment.
Pete Stringer from our friends at Manchester's City of Trees and Dr. James Rothwell, University of Manchester, explained how the trees are planted in a specially designed trench that aims to reduce levels of surface water and clean up pollution. The project aims to capture the impact that trees have on both cleaning polluted water from road run-off and managing levels of surface water, which can lead to flooding.
Using specialist equipment, Dr James Rothwell from The University of Manchester has been monitoring the quantity and quality of the road run-off as it enters and leaves the tree trench. The provisional results so far have shown:
The project has been installed thanks to successful partnership collaboration between Manchester City of Trees, the Environment Agency, The University of Manchester, Deep Root, United Utilities, Urban Vision and Salford City Council. There's much more about the Howard Street trees on the City of Trees website.
As part of the Life+ Natural Course project we're working closely with colleagues at the City of Trees and the Rivers Trust to deliver three Urban Catchment Forestry demonstration sites that aim to show how trees and green infrastructure can be used to reduce urban flooding. A demonstration project is currently being developed with partners in St.Helens.
Forest School offers a unique approach to teaching the curriculum and encouraging active play through using the natural environment. Studies have shown that children spend less time playing in nature than in the past – Forest School is one way of addressing that, increasing physical activity and boosting health and wellbeing as well as developing confidence and new skills. The sessions allow children to play, explore and learn about the natural environment and do activities like shelter-building, outdoor cooking, growing plants, using tools and bug-hunting.
During her visit to Sutton Manor Primary School Mrs. Leadsom met pupils from Years 3 - 6 and trainee Forest School leaders Helen Lomas and John Prescott at their weekly Forest School session, toasting on the fire and making log hedgehogs.
Sutton Manor Primary School has been funded by local company NGF Europe, a member of NSG Group. Employees have helped to prepare the woodland for Forest School, worked with the children to extend the school woodland and fund support for Forest School sessions. At recent planting days staff and every child in the school took part in planting over 500 saplings as well as 25 more mature trees – a long term commitment by the school to run Forest School in the grounds.
Just before Christmas, the school woodland saw its first mixed year group of Year 3- 6 children take part in six weeks of Forest School. The children selected to take part were those with identified additional needs such as looked after children, behavioural difficulties, attainment at a lower level than their peers. Children from KS1 are now participating in a six week forest school project and every class has had a taster session of Forest Schools before Christmas.
The work is part of a project by The Mersey Forest which aims to introduce 'Forest School' to urban areas where children often have limited access to green space.
Monica Gladman, Head Teacher said, 'The Forest School sessions have already positively impacted on the children, improving their confidence, and providing a calming environment for learning. The children have learnt to enjoy exploring the outdoors and have been responsible for leading their own learning, working co-operatively as a team and making decisions together. We aim for a forest School approach to be embedded into our curriculum.'