Forestry Commission: 01606 882167
Situated on one of the main traffic routes in and out of Southport, Lancashire, Town Lane is a former landfill site.
Town Lane is a prominent feature on the landscape, and its gentle dome shape (formed through the land filling process), is visible across the surrounding areas, which include a number of residential communities, Southport Commerce Park and a hospital development. The site is also made up of areas of grassland and, prior to Newlands, the site had a number of degraded and unmanaged areas.
Although the site is noted for its high ecological value (one of the few places in the country where one can see red squirrels), the site's history, and its use locally as a fly tipping site, had resulted in the area being underused by local communities or visitors.
The Town Lane site has now been transformed into a community woodland as part of Newlands. The project is one of the most recent to be delivered through the programme. It has seen significant works carried out on site, including the importation of sand and soil to allow over 12,000 trees and shrubs to be planted. There has also been the development of cycle routes, pathways and bridges to aid movement into and around the site. A viewing point at Town Lane's highest point has also been created to give visitors the chance to take in the views across Southport and the West Pennine Moors.
Town Lane also now boasts a mountain bike skills course, to encourage visitors to use the site to keep fit.
In spite of all the new features on the site, Town Lane's delicate ecosystem has been protected, and even enhanced as new habitat areas have been created to encourage biodiversity on site.
Photo © K A