Moors the merrier!
ABOUT 15 years ago we moved into a village on the edge of the West Pennine Moors.
Like many towns and villages in Lancashire and Greater Manchester, the moors dominate the scenery.
From the Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s reserves in Salford, Wigan and Bolton you can see Rivington and Winter Hill and getting onto the moors offers views across Lancashire and Merseyside and North Wales and the Lake District.
As you drive into our village the moors rise above you, there is pasture, forest and boggy terrain covering half the sky.
I love walking on the West Pennine Moors – every day is different, every day you will see or hear wonderful wildlife and breathe fresh air despite being surrounded by millions of people in the major north west conurbations.
And this week it was heartening to hear that this green lung has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest by Natural England. Let’s just sing the praises of Natural England here, this is a massive and important boost for wildlife and humanity in the north west.
The West Pennine Moors cover around 100 square miles between Oldham, Rochdale, Bury, Bolton, Chorley, Blackburn, Accrington and Burnley.
Walking on the moors I have been greeted by angry curlews warning me away from their nests and listened to skylarks so high in the sky that I can’t actually see them.
Buzzards glide in the therms above your head and you will see kestrels hovering and dropping silently onto their prey. I have seen red deer, groups of roe deer, weasels and a big dog fox slipping in and out of trees into the woodland. Bees and butterflies love the wild plants up on the moors and purple heather and white, fluffy cottongrass often carpets the landscape.
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 around 40 nature reserves and 20 Local Nature Reserves, covering acres of woodland, wetland, upland and meadow. The Trust has 29,000 members and over 1,200 volunteers. To become a member of the Trust go to the website at www. lancswt.org.uk or call 01772 324129. For more information about Cheshire Wildlife Trust call 01948 820728 or go to cheshirewildlifetrust. org.uk.
The West Pennine Moors have been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest by environment body Natural England