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Council commit to buying land to help biodiversity

Part of the land at Yarrow Valley that Chorley Council intend purchasing

22 November 2021

At a recent cabinet meeting, Chorley Council committed to buying land adjacent to Yarrow Valley Country Park with the purpose of tree planting and protecting habitats.

The purchase of this land off Burgh Lane, subject to contract, would increase land mass of Yarrow Valley Country Park and help to deliver carbon reduction and biodiversity net gain.

It is estimated that around 13,000 trees could be planted on this land, which is approximately 30 acres in size, to increase the woodland coverage within the Borough, while maintaining important grassland and wetland habitats.

Deputy Leader of Chorley Council, Councillor Peter Wilson said "The purchase of the land would benefit residents of Chorley and contribute to the local nature recovery by contributing to biodiversity net gain and carbon reduction.

"Given its proximity to the existing country park, this land is ideal for this as trees planted on it would buffer the existing woodland. The potential for 13,000 trees to be planted on this land would be another leap forward towards our target of 116k trees to be planted in the borough by 2025.

"The purchase of this land by the Council is a further investment to tackle climate change in Chorley which we will continue to do. It will also prevent developers from buying the land and therefore protecting this part of the countryside from development long term."

Purchase of the land is expected to be discussed further during a full council meeting in January and the purchase expected to be finalised subject to contract in Spring/Summer with a view to planting commencing in November 2022.

Once owned by Chorley Council it is proposed that, apart from tree planting, the land will be managed on a minimal disruption basis and left to naturalise as given its already mature natural habitat it needs little intervention.

Two additional rangers have recently been appointed to lead on tree planting and biodiversity projects within the Borough, which is a key part of activity within the Council's climate change programme.

Working with residents, landowners and partners, over 30,000 trees have already been planted since the end of 2019. Plus, the Council has created over 40 wildflower mini meadows and numerous wildlife corridors across the borough to help improve biodiversity.

In November 2019, Chorley Council declared a climate emergency and have made significant progress towards the aim of Chorley becoming carbon neutral by 2030 through a number of initiatives.

The Chorley Council Climate Change Strategy is currently being developed, which is expected to go to public consultation in early 2022.

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