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It's a wildlife wonderworld

VITAL work to enhance some of Europe's most important wildlife habitats has now been completed - right here in Mid Cheshire.

VITAL work to enhance some of Europe's most important wildlife habitats has now been completed - right here in Mid Cheshire.

To prevent wetland areas drying out, causing loss of plant species, birch trees and invasive rhododendron have been removed from the edges of meres and mosses in the Hatchmere and Sandiway area.

Cheshire County Council worked in partnership with various site owners including Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Vale Royal Borough Council, the Forestry Commission and the Pettypool Trust on the £20,000 scheme.

Environment strategic panel chairman Steve Wilkinson said: 'The funding made available from a variety of sources has made a valuable contribution to the restoration of wildlife habitats along the Mid Cheshire Sandstone Ridge.

'This area is the first phase of the ecological network for Cheshire.'

A study was also undertaken at Flaxmere Moss to aid understanding of the site's hydrology.

The work is contributing to the creation or restoration of 1,100 hectares of habitat along the Sandstone Ridge. This involves heathland, meres, mosses, woodland and grassland.

Work will continue on individual sites, either through grazing or continued scrub management.

Jacki Hulse, head of estates and land management for the Cheshire Wildlife Trust, said: 'We have been carrying out scrub clearance work at both Hatchmere and Abbots Moss for many years with the help of volunteers and corporate members.

'These additional works have helped towards our long-term objectives to restore the habitats around each site, thus hopefully attracting species of birds and animals that are associated with these fragile environments.'

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