End of the Heritage Lottery Funded Period

Alice Wood

As the month of September comes to an end so does The Carbon Landscape Partnership. Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Carbon Landscape Partnership was a £3.2 million programme, delivering 24 projects over five years! The programme was designed to restore and reconnect wild spaces, improve access to nature for local communities and inspire people to discover and care for nature, and that is exactly what we have done!

Over these past five years we have engaged 14,162 participants through 898 activities, talks, walks and events and had 807 school children involved in education and learning activity. We have worked with 140 local community groups and schools to get pupils and local communities engaging in their local nature again. This has been done through running workshops, events and sessions where schools and members of the local community where invited to join us in exploring and reconnecting with the nature that is on their very own doorstep! We have had 2,792 people attending and benefitting from 214 training and skills workshops and we are so grateful for all the support and interest that the local communities have shown us over the years!

We have created 94½ km of footpath, access and cycle routes, improved or maintained with the purpose of connecting local communities in the area. As well as creating 145 new interpretation features and digital products to increase understanding and awareness and also, adding 64 significant pieces of infrastructure and signage to improve access and enjoyment across our sites.

We have been able to provide opportunities for 10 trainees to gain experience, all of whom have now moved on to full employment within the natural heritage sector! We have worked with other incredible projects, landowners, partners and over 1,500 volunteers, working a total of 12,285 days or 56 full working years, to help enhance and maintain 776 ha of mossland, peatland, woodland and fenscape! This includes the creation of 13 ponds that were created for the Great Crested Newt, 58 management interventions and 2km of wetland habitat improved to enhance connectivity and reduce diffuse pollution. The impact of this restoration project has been huge! We have not only restored and protected these crucial landscape but we have reconnected many of these natural space by creating wildlife corridors. The results of this has allowed us to produce 34 technical reports, research and data systems to support the strategic development of biodiversity and heritage within the area.

Although this is the end for the Carbon Landscape Partnership our legacy lives on in many other projects and in the form of the Great Manchester Wetlands. Wanderland, funded by the deal, will continue to engage people across the landscape through arts. Down to Earth, the Creative People and Places Arts Council 5-year Programme begins. This will help engage people across Wigan Flashes, Bickershaw, Pennington and Amberswood through Arts engagement. This is just the beginning for the Carbon Landscape, as the work enabled by this National Lottery funded project is leading to further ambitions, including a Species Introduction Project and the development of this network of amazing wildlife rich sites into a National Nature Reserve covering this incredible landscape!

We have achieved so much these past 5 years but there is still so much that can be done. Thank you to everyone who has got involved and supported us, we couldn’t have done it without you!

Best Wishes,

The Carbon Landscape Team