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Improving biodiversity across the borough

Wildflower Meadow

24 March 2021

A number of environmental initiatives have been ongoing across the borough in a bid to improve biodiversity - part of the Council's wider plans to help tackle climate change.

Last year the council embarked on creating 30 mini wildflower meadows across the borough, to attract insects and pollinators and due to its success are expanding on this by attempting to create over 40 for 2021.

Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council said "The wildflower meadows, most of which are on the main routes into Chorley, not only add colour to the borough for residents to enjoy, they provide invaluable food and habitats for insects and pollinators, which is really important for the environment.

"During the next few weeks, residents will see areas being prepared ready for the wildflower seeds being sown, including the resowing of the successful sites from 2020. It's brilliant that we are building on last year's efforts to do more of this work."

In addition, flowers from 8000 wildflower bulbs that were sown in Autumn to supplement wildlife corridors, are now starting to appear. Wildlife corridors are areas such as roadside verges where grass cutting is reduced to allow natural wildflowers within the seed bank an opportunity to flourish. The council's grounds teams will continue to regularly maintain verge areas immediately next to roads or footpath in the interests of visibility and safety for motorists.

Initiatives to improve biodiversity through wetlands has also been ongoing, with schemes such as Astley Park reedbed and Carr Brook Linear Park improvements.

Since February 2020, Carr Brook which flows through Carr Brook Linear Park has benefited from a focus on environmental enhancements for which grants were secured to fully fund the project, not only to improve water quality in the river but to eradicate non-native invasive species, planting of native plants and reeds to support natural processes and provide habitats. Locally harvested materials will provide additional habitat along the river.

This work will be a proactive step towards a larger plan to enhance 20km of river by 2027 to improve water quality by improving ecological elements by identifying and addressing issues of water pollution.

There are also proposals to enhance numerous ponds in the borough later this year to help with biodiversity. Early last year saw improvements to five existing ponds and creation of two new ponds to enhance habitats for frogs, toads and newts.

Tree planting in the borough is on target to plant 116k trees by 2025, with over 1000 planted in the last month.

The Council's Rangers have also been busy installing bird boxes in Yarrow Valley Country Park to encourage, blue tits, great tits, nuthatches and owls.

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