The Meres and Mosses area holds a wonderful group of wetlands created during the last Ice Age.
A priority area for restoration, it needs careful conservation to ensure it provides enduring, sustainable habitats which will benefit wildlife and people.
Nearly £2 million of funding has been secured for the Meres and Mosses Landscape Partnership. This encompasses a Heritage Lottery funded Landscape Partnership Scheme (LPS) and a DEFRA funded Nature Improvement Area (NIA). Both of these programmes are now being delivered by a small team employed by Shropshire Wildlife Trust. The ambitious five year programme will deliver over 300 individual projects aimed at conservation, community engagement, access, heritage skills and learning.
One of the projects completing in autumn 2012 is the development and building of a new learning centre at Wood Lane nature reserve near Ellesmere. This will allow the first of many John Muir awards for primary schools funded by the partnership to be completed by December 2012.
Another project completing in 2012 is the extension to the Shropshire Way in the north of the county. Five circular walks have been devised to take in some of the key Meres and Mosses of the area. Additional work has been done to improve disabled acces at Colemere and at Lyneal Wharf on the Shropshire Union canal.
In 2013, Butterfly Conservation will deliver a project which will see the restoration of Prees Heath control tower and Cheshire Wildlife Trust will build a new learning centre at their headquarters in Bickley Hall Farm.
These are just a few of the many projects in this huge programme. Partners involved in delivery are: Butterfly Conservation, Canal and River Trust, Shropshire Rural Community Council, Harper Adams University College, Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Natural England, Environment Agency, RSPB, Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Shropshire Council. Other organisations funding the scheme are: Northern Marches LEADER, The Jean Jackson Trust, Environment Agency, RSPB, Natural England.
Communities and landowners are being engaged to have their say in how key sites will be conserved and managed in their locality. Advice and assistance will be available to farmers focused on nutrient management, habitat restoration and agri-environment schemes. Grants will be available to both communities and landowners for projects which enhance conservation within their area.
The area boundaries for the LPS and the NIA are shown on the map. Grants will only be available for communities andlandowners within the LPS area. Other funding may be available for landowners outside the LPS but inside the NIA.
A Meres and Mosses website will be available in the New Year with much more information about key sites in the area, events, heritage and fun training courses available and all of the projects throughout the life of the scheme. In the meantime, if you require further information, please contact Shropshire Wildlife Trust.
Meres and Mosses project overview (including State Aid compliance)
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