The Flashes of Wigan and Leigh are former coal mining websites. They at the moment are biodiverse wetlands and had been formally declared a National Nature Reserve on Oct. 3, 2022. Wigan Council / Facebook
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A former industrial wasteland in Manchester, England, has formally been designated an 1,824-acre nature reserve that may present 300,000 locals with entry to nature, a press launch from Natural England and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs mentioned.
The Flashes of Wigan and Leigh will change into one in all England’s most intensive city nature reserves and can present protected habitat for endangered bitterns — a relative of the heron — water voles and 52 pairs of willow tit. The patchwork of meadows and wetlands consisting of marshy grassland, swamp, reedbed, moist woodland and tall herb fen will change into a part of the National Nature Reserves community.
“National Nature Reserves help reconnect people with our natural world, providing much needed opportunities to explore our incredible landscape for our health and wellbeing,” mentioned Chief Executive Officer of Natural England Marian Spain, as BBC News reported.
A gradual sinking of land on account of mining led to the formation of lakes that grew to become habitat for species, the press launch mentioned. The Wigan and Leigh nature reserve highlights the transfiguration of the Flashes over the previous century. The designation would be the first for Greater Manchester.
In addition to defending wildlife, it’s hoped the brand new nature reserve will change into a website for sustainable tourism, as residents already cycle, fish, birdwatch and go on nature walks there.
In 2019, England’s “natural capital” was estimated to have a worth of $1.35 trillion.
“A healthy natural environment and economic growth go hand in hand. By working together to build strong partnerships such as those we see here in the Flashes of Wigan and Leigh, we can provide space for rare species and provide vital greenspace. That will make Wigan and Leigh great places to live and great places to do business in,” Spain mentioned, as reported by About Manchester.
According to the press launch, the brand new nature reserve in Wigan combines 13 websites, together with Amberswood, Three Sisters, Wigan Flashes and Bickershaw Country Park, plus Viridor woodland, which was planted greater than 20 years in the past by Forestry England.
England’s National Nature Reserves had been created not solely to guard habitats for threatened species, however to be used as “outdoor laboratories” for faculties, the general public and particular curiosity teams to be uncovered to wildlife and preserving nature.
This yr marks the seventieth anniversary of the primary of England’s nature reserves, of which there at the moment are 220 masking greater than 254,519 acres. The reserves will assist with the UK authorities’s purpose of stopping the lower in wildlife populations by 2030.
“The unique wetlands in Wigan and Leigh were forged by nature reclaiming former industrial land. Today’s designation demonstrates how it is possible to reverse the decline in nature,” Spain mentioned in the press launch.
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