A project has been launched to boost wildlife and wellbeing at a town nature reserve.

Peel Park and the Coppice Local Nature Reserve in Accrington, has been chosen for the project which aims to improve people’s wellbeing and manage the wildlife habitats.

The project, which is being run by Prospects Foundation in partnership with the Ribble Rivers Trust and Hyndburn Borough Council as part of the Health & Environmental Action Lancashire (HEAL) programme, will run until March 2023.

It will aim to offer locals ‘some great ways to enjoy the natural spaces right on the doorstep, with activities suitable for all’.

Gemma McMullan, Local Nature Reserve Project Officer, will lead the project on behalf of the Prospects Foundation, and help to coordinate a series of woodland, heathland and grassland management activities to improve biodiversity and tackle invasive species.

The Ribble Rivers Trust will be working on a new wetland area that will provide natural flood risk management and new wildlife habitats, and Hyndburn Borough Council will support the creation of new footpaths at the site to improve accessibility.

There will also be a series of health walks to help people get out and about in nature and improve their wellbeing.

As well as this local tree seeds are being collected to be sown at a new micro tree nursery, where up to 1,500 tree seedlings will be grown for use in future woodland creation projects.

The project is funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.

Volunteers are also being sought for the project which will will coordinate 1, 000 hours of volunteering and volunteers will receive training to develop their skills and knowledge in conservation management, ecological surveys and species identification.

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