Our President, Joan Jarvis, opened the meeting by welcoming members and two visitors.
She thanked Frances Robinson for the rose bouquet on the table.
Joan then introduced Lydia Dayes and her team from the Lancashire Wildlife Trust to tell us about innovations at Chat Moss.
The team are now, thanks to a Lottery grant, working with Salford, Warrington and Wigan to provide walkways so that more people can access the Moss. They are also working on a ‘corridor’ for wildlife across the whole area from Warrington to Wigan.
Since WW2, we have added many chemicals to our environment and we were encouraged to think about the impact of these, such as over-use of weed killers. We could all help by encouraging wildlife such as bees, birds and hedgehogs into our garden by planting appropriate flowers and shrubs. The butterfly population has dropped by 70% in urban areas, so by planting lavender and buddleia we can help them to increase again.
In 1854, there were 69 collieries in Leigh alone, and since these closed, flashes and wetlands have formed, becoming a haven for wildlife. We have the endangered Willow Tit, the Yellowhammer and Lapwing, and also carnivorous plants such as Sundew. There are also adders and slowworms at Risley Moss!
Lydia ended by saying that we should be very proud of the achievements of our area as we had the first canal, the first steam trains, and we fed London with our salad ingredients.
We then received a report from the AGM that had been held in June at the Liverpool Echo Arena. 400 new WIs have been formed in the last year as our popularity is rising.
Outings to look forward to are Martin Mere in August and ‘The Lady-killers’ at the Brindley in September. There is also an evening arranged by our area group, Mosslands, which is a talk by Lilian King entitled ‘Me, The Police, The Queen and other mishaps’.
Members were asked if anyone would like to volunteer to serve on the committee. Contact any serving member.
Our next meeting is 19th September, 2pm at the Parish Hall, when the Speaker will be the popular Brian Halliwell continuing his ‘Golden Age of Comedy’. Visitors and new members are always made very welcome.