Great news! Park End Moss Wetland is shortlisted for award

Sizergh ranger team at Park End Moss

Park End Moss Wetland Creation Project, Sizergh is shortlisted for CIEEM Best Practice Award. The CIEEM (Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management) Best Practice award considers projects which demonstrate good innovation, knowledge sharing and stakeholder engagement amongst other things.

The project at Park End Moss has created and restored 38 hectares of habitat in the Lyth Valley, Sizergh restoring 7 hectares of limestone grassland and orchard and 27.5 hectares of new wetland habitat (primarily reedbed and fen).

The core work was mainly funded by Natural England’s High level Stewardship scheme with a grant of £300,000 to create reedbeds through water-retaining bunds and sluices, ditches, channels, pools and scrapes and £50,000 from Natural England’s Wetland Vision fund.

There is a long history of partnership working in Morecambe Bay, most recently through the NIA (Nature Improvement Area) and the Local Nature Partnership. The success at Park End is due to these relationships. The land is owned by the National Trust; the reedbed design was created by the RSPB, NIA staff provided grassland, fen and reedbed expertise, and Natural England put together the HLS agreement. Local communities have played an important role, from consultation to helping to plant thousands of reed plant plugs to help to establish the site.

Gemma Wren, National Trust Countryside Manager for Sizergh said, “One of the key aims of the project was to create a habitat which could have a knock-on benefit to wildlife populations around the area and in the ‘Morecambe Bay Nature Improvement Area’. Creating habitat for bittern at Park end strengthens populations at other sites such as RSPB’s Leighton Moss and also for other species such as marsh harrier, bearded tits, osprey and lapwing.”

So far since its creation the results have been encouraging with visiting bitterns, marsh harrier, hen harrier and osprey and at least 5 pairs of breeding lapwing. The new bird hide – built by National trust Sizergh rangers and generously funded by a local donor provides unobtrusive access to these wildlife gems and hours of quiet and solitude for our visitors in a beautiful setting.

The award ceremony will take place in Birmingham in late June.