At a visit to Sutton End Farm in Langley, nearby to Macclesfield, local MP, David Rutley, has given his support to Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s important work, alongside the local farming community, to improve water quality and flood mitigation, and enhance biodiversity locally, particularly among wading bird species.
David learned that the Trust is working co-operatively with local farmers to deliver important environmental and conservation objectives, in an approach that benefits both wildlife and the agricultural community. One of the initiatives being taken forward in the farmland around Macclesfield is the creation of new wetland habitats, which are helping to provide feeding areas for wading birds such as snipe, curlew and lapwing, whilst also enabling the landscape to store more water, thereby alleviating downstream flood risk. This forms part of a natural flood management initiative, being fully funded by the Environment Agency. The project uses innovative ‘leaky’ log dams and interceptor ponds to help manage the flow of seasonal storms and floodwaters. The Trust is also taking action to reduce pollution in local waterways from phosphates and pesticides.
David was joined for the visit by Martin Varley, Director of Conservation at the Trust, Joe Pimblett, Area East Manager at the Trust, and local Trustee, Philip Cheek. Dr Varley, Mr Pimblett and Mr Cheek explained that a number of these important initiatives are being delivered thanks to funding from Natural England, which is being overseen by Cheshire Wildlife Trust. As well as the works underway at Sutton End Farm, another twelve local farms, all of which form the Dane Headwater Facilitation Fund Group, are receiving funding, to help take forward holistic, landscape-level enhancements.
Cheshire Wildlife Trust was established in 1962, and has gone from strength to strength since then. The Trust currently manages and conserves over 40 wildlife reserves across Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Wirral, which are home to many rare species, including natterjack toads, great crested newts, bittern, and a wide range of dragonflies and butterflies. Any local residents interested in joining or volunteering with the Trust can express their interest via its website: www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/support-us
Speaking after his visit, David said, "I am grateful to Martin, Joe and Philip for showing me around Sutton End Farm and for giving me a clearer insight into Cheshire Wildlife Trust's important conservation work in our area. It is positive to see the high level of co-operation that takes place between the Trust and the local farming community, which is clearly to the benefit of both, as well as the local environment. I wish Cheshire Wildlife Trust and their partners continued success in taking this important work forward in the year ahead.”