Improvement works at Peel Park & the Coppice Local Nature Reserve in Accrington are now underway to increase accessibility to Pleck Meadows as part of the HEAL (Health & Environmental Action Lancashire) programme.
Earlier this year we ran a consultation and asked you for your opinions. The survey asked what work should be carried out at Pleck Meadows, how you already use the space, where any new footpaths would be helpful, and which improvements you think are the most important.
Following on from the positive results of the consultation in June 2022, it was decided that the purple route would be constructed instead of the orange route as it was the more favourable option.
Construction of the yellow and purple route began on the 24th October 2022. Work will continue for a few months, this will involve the installation of a footbridge over Pleck Brook as part of the purple route.
There will be limitations to site from Arden Hall throughout the duration of the works. Signage will be in place to redirect visitors. There will be no impact on access from Avenue Parade and Peel Park Avenue. However we ask politely that dogs are kept on leads near these areas whilst work is onging.
For more information about the habitat management and conservation activities going on at Peel Park & the Coppice, please visit HEAL Project at peel Park and The Coppice LNR
What else is happening at Pleck Meadows?
Pleck Meadow was acquired by Hyndburn Borough Council in 2018. Thanks to input from the public consultation Ribble Rivers Trust and Prospects will be implementing a management plan this year.
Together with the Prospects Foundation we cut back Pleck Meadow in August to increase wildflower biodiversity. Cutting and removing the vegetation might seem like an odd way of improving wildflower biodiversity, but it helps by removing nutrients, creating a low nutrient soil which benefits native wildflowers and reduces grass growth.
However, a large border of grass remains to support deer and to provide cover for smaller animals like rodents and amphibians.
Ribble Rivers Trust and the Prospects Foundation have also been doing some traditional scything and a green hay transfer. Moving green hay, which is bursting with seeds, from Slate Pits Meadow to Pleck Meadow will further increase diversity.
In the future there are plans to construct a wetland habitat on Pleck Meadow. This will benefit plant, invertebrate and amphibian species.
Will you be working anywhere else?
Ribble Rivers Trust are proud to be taking the lead on another partnership project. HEAL (Health & Environmental Action Lancashire) is a Green Recovery Challenge Fund project. The project aims to help with nature recovery, and connect people to the outdoors through education, training, recreation, and volunteering.
The £661,100 grant comes from the Government’s £40 million second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. HEAL will create and restore habitats whilst improving health and wellbeing across Lancashire.
This project is the result of some specialist research and GIS analysis using our own data and evidence, and data from the Environment Agency and Lancashire County Council’s Public Health team.
For this project we gathered data on various environmental factors like flood risk, land use, habitat type, rainfall levels, and tree cover. The resulting information helps us to discover where our work could have the biggest impact for nature and the environment.
However, for this project we also used data on urban tree cover, mental and physical fitness, and childhood obesity. This means that we can also target areas which could potentially see the greatest positive impact on Lancashire residents health and wellbeing.
The work at Pleck Meadows is par of this wider project work.