A former colliery site at Bickershaw Country Park near Leigh has been transformed into a green haven thanks to a grant of more than £33,000 from Enovert Community Trust. Bickershaw Colliery was closed in March 1992, and the former coal mining site has been in need of investment and improvement for some time.
The grant from Enovert Community Trust paid for the improvement of two site entrances, installation of new footpaths, and improvements to existing paths that were potholed and worn. The project also engaged with many volunteers who planted 3,000 trees and shrubs throughout the winter, increasing the site’s diversity and improving habitats for wildlife, including the rare willow tit.
As a result of the project, access to the site has been significantly improved, with long stretches of footpaths repaired or replaced. The tree and shrub planting has added to the rich mix of habitats, such as meadows and wetlands, which are being developed to ensure the wildlife on site can flourish. The project has been delivered by the City of Trees charity in partnership with Lancashire Wildlife Trust, and Wigan Borough Council.
Hilary Wood, Project Lead, City of Trees said: "We are very grateful to Enovert Community Trust for its generous grant. Bickershaw is a huge site with great heritage value, as many local people worked in the former colliery. Opening up the site by improving accessibility and making the site more welcoming will increase local use of this beautiful natural amenity.
"The new footpaths and entrances to the park will also have a big effect on reducing instances of anti-social behaviour, such as off-roading, to protect the public and wildlife from harm. Importantly there will be a lot more opportunities for members of the community to get active on site through volunteering.
Angela Haymonds, Trust Secretary of Enovert Community Trust, said: "The Trustees were delighted to contribute towards the accessibility improvements at Bickershaw Country Park. The project has opened up large areas of the site for visitors that were previously inaccessible due to overgrown entrances and a lack of surfaced pathways. Members of the public can now access the site enabling healthy lifestyles for local people."