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The Essential Guide Magazine > Birchwood > Volunteers storm back to work for wildlife

Volunteers storm back to work for wildlife

It isn’t often that volunteers are beaten by the weather but when things get a little bit too dangerous it is better to beat a hasty retreat.

The recent storms have caused problems especially Brian – a nice name, a seemingly innocent name, the name of a kindly neighbour or that soft old cat from down the road. It is not a name one might associate with danger or destruction, and certainly not plan scuppering.

But that is exactly what it meant when storm Brian tore across the UK, reaching Warrington exactly the same time as the Coppicing Day, organised by the Friends of Gorse Covert Mounds, was due to be held at Pestfurlong moss. The public event that was to start the ‘Save the Moss’ campaign.

Quick thinking ensued and a conclusion reached that 70mph winds and an event taking place amongst trees was not a safe combination. The event was rescheduled with the help of the Heritage Lottery funded Carbon Landscape Project.

A small group assembled and got to work clearing a significant area of scrub from around Pestfurlong Moss, the internationally important carbon-storing mossland nestled amongst the slopes and woods of this popular Warrington green space.

It was a successful and thermos flask-fuelled day, with good amounts of scrub and small trees cleared, meaning that the mossland will be able to retain its all-Important water levels once re-wetting works begin next year.

The Friends of Gorse Covert Mounds have further plans for the site, and ones that involve local people. They are planning to carry out wildlife surveys so different species can be recorded and monitored as Pestfurlong Moss reverts back being a thriving raised bog. This is important, as certain species of wildlife survive in peat bogs, and the rising level of biodiversity will be a measure of the project’s success.

Surveys are a vital part of wildlife conservation, as well as a really fun and engaging way for people to play a part in helping wildlife on their doorstep. This is really important for the future of Pestfurlong moss’ Tony Da Silva, Landscape restoration officer and Volunteer Coordinator, Carbon Landscape Project.

Phil Rees, of RIMAG (Risley Moss Action Group), has volunteered to offer training and lead surveys in birds as well as in dragonflies.

Survey work will start in the new year. The Friends are looking for budding naturalists, for people with an interest in wildlife on their doorstep. Anyone interested in this need not be experienced or have any prior knowledge; all that is required is enthusiasm for your local wildlife and a wish to do something positive.

All enquiries please contact


The Carbon Landscape Partnership is the flagship project for the Great Manchester Wetlands Partnership which was formed to manage the Great Manchester Wetlands Nature Improvement Area. The Great Manchester Wetlands Partnership is made up of 22 local authorities, statutory organisations, environmental charities, community groups and businesses.

The Carbon Landscape Partnership, made up of 11 partners, operates at the heart of the Great Manchester Wetlands Nature Improvement Area, offering a step change in the conservation and enhancement of the unique natural and cultural heritage of the Nature Improvement Area.

The Carbon Landscape is changing the way in which we approach landscapes and communities in Wigan, Salford and Warrington. Twenty-two interlinked projects will provide a forward-thinking and effective programme that will have lasting benefits for local communities and wildlife.

Carbon Trust

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