Tawd Valley Wetland

Ribble Rivers Trust, in collaboration with the Environment Agency and West Lancashire Borough Council, is excited to be starting the construction of a new wetland at Tawd Valley Park, Skelmersdale.

This initiative is a key component of wider efforts to enhance the environmental landscape and recreational opportunities in Tawd Valley Park, situated within the River Douglas sub-catchment and the broader Ribble catchment.

What is the plan for Tawd Valley Park?

Led by West Lancashire Borough Council, the ambitious Tawd Valley Park redevelopment encompasses a range of enhancements, including:

  • New cycle paths
  • Creation of wetland habitat areas
  • Access and improvement work to footpaths and landscapes
  • Upgrading the fishing lake
  • Development of a heritage trail and picnic areas
  • Potential for a new visitor centre, play area, and BMX track
A visualisation of the wetlands at Tawd Valley Park

Tell me more about the wetland!

Located centrally within the site, the new 517 square meter wetland will hold up to 177 cubic meters of water and will involve two connections to United Utilities surface water sewers.

There are several reasons why this wetland will be beneficial for the area. As mentioned, the first is as a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDs) delivering Natural Flood Management (NFM) benefits. SUDs systems are a more natural approach to managing drainage systems. Their designs enable them to temporarily store water during storm events, reduce peak flows and reduce surface water runoff.

Ground investigations for the wetland

Beyond protecting human inhabitants from flooding the wetlands will also provide a habitat haven for insects, amphibians, birds, and potentially mammals. Wetlands are actually a fairly rare habitat, so this space for nature will prove very welcome.

The wetland will also play a crucial role in enhancing water quality in the nearby River Tawd by capturing sediment and pollutants before they can reach the river. Much of this comes from road run off, so is made up of heavy metals from fuels and microplastics from tyres.

Of course, it will also simply be a beautiful space for people to enjoy. A circular path will surround the wetland, allowing visitors to embrace water throughout Tawd Valley Park.

When will the work be complete?

Our wetland is one, relatively small, part of the redevelopment. Commencing in February 2024, Ribble Rivers Trust anticipates the completion of the wetland project by the end of April 2024. It is funded by the Environment Agency and the Whitemoss Community Fund (through West Lancashire Borough Council) in collaboration with our contractor Wade Group.

For real-time updates on the project’s progress and other developments within Tawd Valley Park, please visit tawd.net or friendsoftawdvalley.org.