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Delamere project wins prestigious award for Cheshire Wildlife Trust

Delamere Living Landscape Project wins Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management Best Practice Award

Cheshire Wildlife Trust and Forestry Commission partnership team with their Best Practice Award. Photo: CIEEM and David McKibbin(Image: UGC)

Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s Delamere Living Landscape Project is an award-winner.

The project has won a Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management Best Practice Award. Representatives from the partnership team collected the award at a ceremony held at Draper’s Hall, London.

The project had been shortlisted in the Large-Scale Practical Nature Conservation category, alongside multi-million pound projects from across the UK.

“We are ecstatic about winning,” said Sarah Bennett, area manager west, part of the conservation team at Cheshire Wildlife Trust. “I am extremely proud of my team, and our work in Delamere over the last few years. We are really starting to see the results of this project and the positive impact it has had for local wildlife.”

Cheshire Wildlife Trust has been working in partnership with the Forestry Commission to deliver nature conservation improvements at Delamere Forest, supported by Natural England, WREN’s FCC Biodiversity Action Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund, the British Dragonfly Society and Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Adrienne Bennett, Forestry Commission ecologist, added: “The Forestry Commission began restoring Delamere Forest’s meres and mosses in the late 1990s and we are thrilled to see such an important long-running project receive such high level recognition.

“We’ve seen some fantastic results from our partnership including the return of sphagnum mosses, and notable increases in the occurrences of a wide range of species.”

Over the last four years, Cheshire Wildlife Trust and the Forestry Commission have continued the restoration of 110 hectares of mossland habitat through scrub-clearance, rewetting areas of peatland to create pools, and controlling invasive species.

Species are now flourishing at the popular forest from nationally rare mosses, through to woodland birds, rare insects and amphibians. Nowadays green hairstreak butterflies are a common sight, along with common lizards and a nationally-rare spider has also been confirmed on two of the sites.

The improved bog areas are also home to one of only five populations of bog myrtle in Cheshire.

The mossland habitat work also provides wider environmental benefits. Before restoration much of the peat on the sites was drying out causing it to break down and release carbon into the atmosphere.

Over 25.5 hectares of peat has now been rewetted, allowing it to store carbon once again and soak up rainwater.

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