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Project information

Saving our UK Rainforests

We want to help protect and restore the North Wests mosslands, a habitat of global importance. We already have funding in place and we are looking for match funders to help us unlock nearly £800,000. Our project will restore, reconnect and re-introduce species that once thrived.

June 2019 - July 2020

Charity information: The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside

The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside logo
  • Need


    Over the last 200 years the UK has lost 97% of its raised bog habitat, and what is left is both fragmented and in need of restoration. We need to act now before these globally important habitats are lost forever. We want to re-invigorate the North Wests network of bog habitat, the rare and iconic species which thrive there, and preserve their natural role as a highly effective carbon sink.
    We have already secured £784,438 and we are seeking the £78, 443 of match funding.


    Our project will save key areas of bog habitat, provide a stronger North-West network and re-introduce those species lost over the years. We want to bring the 'Manchester Argus' (the Large Heath butterfly) back to Manchester!

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Safeguarding the Regions Mossland Resource


    » The purchase of 34ha of land, including 14ha of SSSI bog (mossland) habitat and 20ha of adjacent land
    » Restore these areas and create a strong network of bog (mossland) habitat
    » Safeguard the future of Winmarleigh Moss

    What success will look like

    -Purchase and protection of key mossland habitats
    -Improved network of habitat
    -Increase in key plant and animal numbers
    -Maximise potential to sink carbon
    -Raise the profile

    Aim 2

    Re-Introducing Key Species


    » Restore remnant mossland within the key habitat area using over 25 years of experience and expertise within our charity
    » Enhance connectivity, reduce isolation of the mossland resource.
    » Reintroduce the unique characteristic bog species that have been lost to the area. Engaging the local community once again in their heritage
    » Play a vital role in providing eco-system services such as recreation, flood alleviation and carbon storage

    What success will look like

    -Successful re-introduction of the Large Heath Butterfly (The 'Manchester Argus)
    -Engaging the local community once again in their heritage, ensuring protection for the future

  • Impact


    This project will ensure a more cohesive, connected and thriving mossland network in the North West of England. It will reverse the many years of damage to these habitats, and ensure not only the wildlife there thrive, but that the sites are a benefit to the local community, for flood alleviation and their tremendous power as natural carbon sinks is unleashed.


    The Trust has been working with mossland habitats for over 25 years. Risks to the overall project include a failed breeding programme for the re-introduction of the Large Heath. We have developed strong links with a major zoo and have delivered similar re-introduction programmes with them on other sites. The risks to the restoration are minimal, we have leading experts in this type of conservation and the relevant experience to ensure success.


    We will provide donors with a quarterly report which will outline the progress of the project, successes and challenges and the clear impact and outcomes

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £864,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £450,000 Winmarleigh Moss the purchase and restoration of Winmarleigh Moss
      £265,000 Species reintroduction Reintroduction of the Large Heath Butterfly including the restoration of key habitats
      £70,000 Restoration Restoration of Little Woolden Moss
      £79,000 Match Funding Third party match funding required to unlock funds

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Veolia £78,500 Conditional
  • Background


    Lancashire and Manchester


    The main beneficiaries will be the residents of Irlam and Cadishead, which is in the 10 percent most deprived areas of Britain according to the Indices of deprivation 2015. The continual restoration of the site will be a great place for the local community to walk and connect with the local wildlife and there are routes to take people to and around the site. All restoration projects will benefit the local and UK communities through carbon storage and flood alleviation.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside has been working to protect and restore the North West mosslands for over 25 years. We have successfully restored areas destroyed by development and peat extraction into thriving habitats. We now want to make this network larger and more connected, and we have the expertise and experience to make it happen.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Mick Weston

    Mick Weston is the Trusts Director of Development with decades of experience, He will lead a highly skilled team of staff and volunteers