Wildlife conservation project celebrates its achievements in Wigan
Carbon Landscape, which began in 2017, organized the event to reflect on its conservation efforts in post-industrial land swaths over the past five years, now coming to an end.
It has hosted local artists, a poet-in-residence, guest speakers, commissioned art exhibitions, and everyone involved in the project, which was set up to educate people about their natural environment and encourage them to go out and explore them. .
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The scheme covered wetlands across Wigan, as well as sections of Salford and Warrington, which were once used for coal mining and peat extraction as well as farming, which meant it was a threatening landscape, but these areas have now been reclaimed by nature.
A total of 13 partners are involved in the Carbon Landscape project, such as the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and conservation organizations such as Natural England and the Woodland Trust, as well as local authorities and community groups who have all worked together for the execute.
Becky Royce, Assistant and Communications and Support Officer at the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, said: “Our project had three main aims: it was to get people out into green spaces, to make them aware that they had and it was also about helping people to help them know how they can best take care of these wildlife areas.
“To celebrate we have many exhibitions that we have commissioned from artists, we also have a wonderful boat trip along the canal so we can see the areas we have worked to conserve while enjoying a delicious “bog-brownie” at the same time, because part of our habitat is quite swampy.
“Five years from now you can forget all the hard work you put in, this event allows us to look back and remember all the hard work and effort we put in.
“When you realize the impact you’ve had and how many people have been involved, it’s so positive.
“A big part of our project was about getting people involved, organizing events and getting them outside and the Covid-19 pandemic put a damper on that, but we overcame it with things like online workshops, and we’re really proud.”
Poet-in-Residence Claire Shaw said, “Being Poet-in-Residence has introduced me to green spaces I didn’t even know existed and gave me an in-depth knowledge of the history of the communities and these landscapes.
“The work is about the stories that are embedded in these areas both past and present.
“When we restore landscapes, we also kind of restore ourselves and so there was a lot of resonance for mental health in this work as well.
“The closures brought people outside and into nature, suddenly they became much more aware of things like birdsong and so it was a really good time for that.”