AN AMBITIOUS project will create a network of wetland habitats to benefit wildlife.
Richard Gardner, Cheshire Wildlife Trust living landscape manager, will lead the Gowy and Mersey Washlands Project.
The group is working with partner agencies and landowners to create wet grasslands, reed beds and wet woodlands.
Mr Gardner said: “The River Gowy and its immediate surrounding landscape supports barn owls, lapwings, water voles, otters and much more.
“This corridor of land has the potential to be a regionally important landscape for wildlife. That’s why the Gowy and Mersey Washlands Project will work over a landscape-scale to restore, recreate and reconnect wetlands in the River Gowy and River Mersey corridors creating a Living Landscape.”
Reducing the fragmentation of wetlands should allow species to thrive such as curlew, redshank, lapwing, water vole, great crested newt and mud snail.
Wetland restoration will mitigate any impacts of future flooding and a changing climate.
The first phase will involve working with farmers including Huw Rowlands of The Grange Farm, Mickle Trafford, to secure the long-term positive management of the washlands. Mr Rowlands will help create a hectare of wet woodland at Plemstall growing alder trees for hedge stakes and to produce charcoal.
The trust’s herd of English cattle will be used to manage coastal and floodplain grazing marshes.
The group will work with schools, community groups and volunteers to inspire them about these habitats.
Visit www.cheshirewildlifetrust.co.uk for more information.