Amberswood, Wigan – Wetland Enhancement
Client: Lancashire Wildlife Trust
Final Value: £5,000
Start Date: Mar 2019
Status: Mar 2019
Amberswood is a 160-hectare nature reserve and is the focal point of Greenheart, Wigan Council’s network of high-quality natural landscapes which have been reclaimed from their previous industrial use. Amberswood is a strategically important site with habitats which include peat mossland, wildflower meadows, woodland, grasslands, and a variety of animal and plant species.
Restoration work was designed to further enhance the Mossland and fen habitats by creating suitable habitat for wetland species including great crested newts.
Optimal habitat was to be delivered through a combination of creating new ponds and restoring existing ponds that are currently unsuitable for great crested newts.
CCNW undertook work to create a series of 4 ponds, new ditches, plygene/peat bunds, and willow scrub hibernacula.
Ponds 1 and 2 were created between 200m2-300m2 in size, and with a varying depth between 1.2m-2.5m. Shallow areas tend to be more valuable to wildlife and bank gradients of 1:10-1:20.
Ponds 3 and 4 were additional small to medium size ponds, created between 100m2-250m2, and with a depth of between 1.2m-2m, and bank gradients of 1:10-1:20. Great crested newts prefer breeding ponds, with smaller ponds of up to 250m2, especially where these occur in clusters.
A series of plygene/peat bunds were created to ensure the success of the ponds and that water flow is controlled and stored in desired locations on site.
CCNW excavated a trench to a depth of 1.2m x 0.75m wide, with distances of 35m. The plygene bund was laid into the ditch, buried/sealed using peat deposits from the pond creation work. Two additional ditches were created at a width of 1m and 0.75m deep.
Existing willow trees were removed and materials re-used to create hibernacula in designated locations within the moss land.
CCNW undertook extensive preparation for the project including site visits, consultations with the client, including risk assessments and method statements detailing how the work would be carried out. Significant effort was put into minimising disturbance to animal and plant species.
The completed works will reinvigorate the moss land and fen habitats as a thriving habitat for wetland species including great crested newts.
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Site of Biological Importance
Reinstatement & Construction
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