A project to showcase and conserve Cheshire's rich salt-mining history has kicked off.
The three-year project aims to conserve and restore important features connected to the salt landscape in and around Northwich, Winsford, Frodsham and Middlewich.
It will also increase awareness and appreciation of the special qualities of this unique area, and promote opportunities for people to access, enjoy and learn about the salt heritage of the area.
There will be many opportunities for people to get involved and find out more about the salt landscape, through events such as built and natural environment education visits, conferences, events, talks and performances. History, archaeology and geology projects are set to be held, along with social media projects. In addition to this, essential conservation work will be carried out to create habitats and remove invasive species, and key features such as the Anderton Boatlift Gate Lodges, Swing Bridge at Vale Royal Locks, and pathways will be restored throughout the area.
The project is being managed by Groundwork Cheshire and coordinated by the Saltscape partnership, which includes Cheshire West and Chester Council and The Mersey Forest, who will be supporting landowners in managing ancient woodland as part of this project. It is part of a wider narrative around the salt industry, and will set the scene for the opening of the Lion Salt Works Museum in Spring 2015.
Clare Olver is leading on the Saltscape project at The Mersey Forest. She said: "We're delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund bid was successful and that we can now pursue this important project.
"As set out in our recently refreshed Forest Plan, we are keen to help manage Cheshire's rich heritage for all, and look forward to playing our part in delivering this project."