Our consultation has now ended, and we’ve collected and collated the results of the surveys. We’d like to thank everyone that took part in the survey and helped to shape the future of this area. You can find out more about the project by clicking here.
One of the conservation plans for the site is to manage parts of Pleck Meadow as a wildflower meadow by cutting the grassland annually in late summer. How do you feel about this?
Good Idea 46 94%
Bad Idea 3 6%
A new wetland is being proposed for Pleck Meadow to provide a habitat for new species and natural flood management. How do you feel about this?
Good Idea 40 85%
Bad Idea 7 15%
Another phase of positive woodland management is to thin some of the larch trees to help diversify the woodland with more native trees and improve resilience to disease. How do you feel about this?
Good Idea 43 91%
Bad Idea 4 9%
Some of the self-seeded trees in the heathland area on top of the Coppice are being thinned to promote heather growth and protect the heathland habitat. How do you feel about this?
Good Idea 43 90%
Bad Idea 5 10%
Old stands of heather will be cut back with machinery to help promote fresh growth. Similar work was carried out at the Coppice in 2019. How do you feel about this?
Good Idea 42 86%
Bad Idea 7 14%
Different options for improvement of existing informal footpath links are shown on the map above. How do you feel about the different routes?
Good Idea 30 73%
Bad Idea 11 27%
Good Idea 37 80%
Bad Idea 9 20%
Good Idea 24 56%
Bad Idea 19 44%
Would you like to help with future conservation activities at Peel Park & the Coppice?
Yes 19 40%
No 29 60%
Frequently Asked Questions
How will the works impact deer and the local wildlife?
Advice has been sought from local wildlife experts and organisations. This has helped us to carefully design the management programme to ensure that the works will ultimately benefit the wildlife and habitats at the reserve. We will continuously monitor the habitats with the help of local volunteers once the works are complete to see how they change and this will help to inform further management decisions in the future.
The works themselves will have mitigation in place to cause minimal disturbance to wildlife whilst in operation, for example working in daylight hours when deer are less likely to use the open space. This disturbance will only be short term. Ultimately the benefits of these works will largely outweigh any minor impacts caused during construction.
Which footpaths are being formalised and will they be accessible for cyclists and horse riders?
Out of the three footpaths, the yellow and the purple route will go ahead. The purple route will feature a new footbridge. After receiving feedback from the consultation, it has been decided that the orange route will not be formalised. The new footpaths and footbridge will not be accessible for cyclists and horse riders as they will not be wide enough to support both them and walkers safely.
Why are you removing trees?
We are thinning some of the Larch trees at Peel Park and the Coppice LNR. This will help to diversify the tree species within the woodland areas. Some parts of the woodland are predominantly larch and larch trees are susceptible to fungal disease, for example phytophthora. Diversifying the woodland and adding new species will help to make the woodland more resilient to future disease outbreaks.
The lowland heathland on top of the Coppice is an extremely valuable habitat. It supports many specialist plants and animals that aren’t present in other habitats. Some trees have self-seeded into the heather patches. We are removing some of the self-seeded trees to prevent them from dominating and outcompeting the heather and specialist plants, creating a much more balanced, mosaic of habitats across the Coppice.
Which tree species are you encouraging in the woodland?
We are encouraging the growth of native broadleaved trees such as oaks, wych elm, elder, hawthorn and rowan. These trees will provide food and shelter for birds, butterflies and pollinators, and promote the growth of ground vegetation which will benefit many more species. Young trees will add more structure and diversity to the woodland, replacing diseased and old trees that will die naturally, ensuring the longevity of the habitat for many years to come.
Why do you have to use machinery to remove old heather? Can you not use other methods?
Heather management traditionally uses controlled burning, grazing livestock and cutting. As the Coppice is a public space on the edge of an urban area, burning is too dangerous and introducing livestock would require a lot of maintenance to keep them safely on the Coppice for a long period of time. Cutting is therefore the best option for heather management, and using machinery is the most efficient way of removing large amounts of old heather stands.
Who is carrying out the works?
Hyndburn Council will install the footpaths whilst the Ribble Rivers Trust is creating the new wetland habitat. The Prospects Foundation will be carrying out the habitat management with the help of volunteers, encouraging people to get out and about in nature, learn new skills and improve their wellbeing. The Prospects Foundation will also be instructing contractors to cut Pleck Meadow and some of the heather patches on top of the Coppice.
Cutting of the meadow will be taking place on the 8th August. The footpath installation and the wetland creation will take place in early 2023. We will be giving advanced notice before these works take place.
For more information about the works and upcoming volunteering events at Peel Park & the Coppice please visit the Prospects Foundation website: Prospects – Hyndburn’s Community-Owned Environmental Charity (prospectsfoundation.org.uk)