TV star’s daz­zled by ur­ban re­serve

Macclesfield Express - - WILDLIFE -

WE were all a bit starstruck this week, with the ar­rival of a wildlife celebrity at our na­ture re­serve just a stone’s throw from Manch­ester city cen­tre.

TV pre­sen­ter and Royal So­ci­ety of Wildlife Trusts vice-pres­i­dent Nick Baker came along to Mos­ton Fair­way and was amazed at just what we’ve got go­ing on.

We in­vited him along to meet the chil­dren, teach­ers and en­thu­si­as­tic lo­cal peo­ple who have been cre­at­ing some­thing spe­cial in the area around the Lan­cashire Wildlife Trust na­ture re­serve.

“The en­thu­si­asm, sense of mo­men­tum, and com­mu­nity spirit has been over­whelm­ing”, he said. “This is what it’s all about, open­ing up our nat­u­ral world to young en­thu­si­asm and in­spir­ing kids to love be­ing out­doors”.

Broad­hurst Pri­mary, St Mary’s CE Pri­mary, Crab Lane Pri­mary and Bowker Vale Pri­mary were cel­e­brat­ing the For­est Schools pro­ject we’re de­liv­er­ing with fund­ing from play­ers of Peo­ple’s Post­code Lottery.

This pro­ject has given Mos­ton Fair­way a mas­sive boost, brought a whole new group of kids and fam­i­lies into con­tact with the re­serve and gen­er­ated ameni­ties and part­ner­ships that will mean com­mu­nity en­gage­ment goes from strength to strength.

For­est schools use learn­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and play in wood­land to en­gage chil­dren with the out­doors and na­ture, to get them fit and ac­tive, and to boost their cre­ativ­ity and con­fi­dence. Mos­ton Fair­way is a unique oa­sis in Manch­ester.

The Mos­ton Fair­way re­serve page at lanc­swt. org.uk has great photos and much more in­for­ma­tion on the rare wildlife – and marsh with abun­dant smooth newts – that you can dis­cover on a visit.

The Univer­sity of Manch­ester as­so­ciate dean for so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity, Pro­fes­sor Amanda Bam­ford, praised the trust’s work with in­ner city com­mu­ni­ties: “Nick Baker and I have been inspired talk­ing to the chil­dren and adults here. This is a flag­ship scheme which I’m proud to pro­mote to the peo­ple of Manch­ester.”

Mos­ton Fair­way is the fo­cus of the trust’s work in the area but is just one part of the wider Mos­ton Brook wildlife cor­ri­dor. And there’s a free event com­ing up to en­cour­age peo­ple to dis­cover the wider green lung in this part of ur­ban Manch­ester – the Mos­ton Brook Fun Day, 1-4pm on Satur­day, Au­gust 1. Or­gan­ised by Mos­ton Brook Friends Group and Manch­ester and Old­ham coun­cils, there will be a wide va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties.

The Fun Day takes place on Park Av­enue, which lies just off Broad­way – the A663 – a short dis­tance from its junction with the A62 Old­ham Road head­ing out of the city cen­tre. Stick M35 0DY in your sat-nav and look for the sign­posts to a stew­arded car park on Broad­way op­po­site the en­trance to Park Av­enue.

Con­tact Adam Moolna, com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer (For­est Schools), on amoolna@lanc­swt.org.uk for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on Mos­ton Fair­way, For­est Schools and our work sup­ported by play­ers of Peo­ple’s Post­code Lottery. The trust also runs For­est Schools and other ed­u­ca­tion ses­sions at Seven Acres in cen­tral Bolton and at Brock­holes near Pre­ston.

The Wildlife Trust for Lan­cashire, Manch­ester and North Mersey­side is ded­i­cated to the pro­tec­tion and pro­mo­tion of the wildlife in Lan­cashire, seven bor­oughs of Greater Manch­ester and four of Mersey­side, all ly­ing north of the River Mersey. It man­ages about 40 na­ture re­serves and 20 Lo­cal Na­ture Re­serves cov­er­ing acres of wood­land, wet­land, up­land and meadow. The trust has 26,000 mem­bers, and more than 1,200 vol­un­teers. To be­come a mem­ber go to the web­site at www. lanc­swt.org.uk or call 01772 324129.

●● Nick Baker talks to chil­dren at Mos­ton Fair­way

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