Cuerdale woodland to mitigate pollution and erosion UPDATE: COMPLETE!

Cuerdale woodland has now been completed thanks to our wonderful volunteers and additional help from Bowland Game Fishing Association!


Newly planted trees at Cuerdale

Newly planted trees at Cuerdale

The new woodland is located close to Cuerdale Hall, along the banks of the Ribble below the M6 motorway. Here the famous Ribble Way runs parallel to the river along the river bank.

Here the Ribble is in a poor condition, mainly due to issues surrounding livestock access to the river. This access is resulting in the direct input of faecal matter and sediment into the river which is severely damaging the ecology of the river Ribble and its estuary. The pollution, particularly faecal matter, is also impacting the bathing waters at St. Annes and Blackpool and the shellfish waters which lie around the Ribble estuary.

Fencing at Cuerdale

Fencing at Cuerdale

In order to address these issues fencing has been erected and a new woodland has been created to help to prevent livestock from reaching the river. Additionally, the trees and their root systems will continue to further filter out these pollutants as they travel across the land during periods of heavy rain.

In time the trees and their roots help to stabilise the river banks, providing a structure which holds onto banking material to prevent it from being washed away. The trees also help to transform the area from improved grassland to new, valuable woodland habitat for a range of species including fish, mammals, and birds.

This woodland has also been carefully designed and developed to highlight the location of the Cuerdale Hoard, a Viking silver hoard made up of more than 8,600 items including coins and jewellery. This hoard is globally significant, and in terms of size is second only to the Spillings Hoard which was discovered in Gotland, Sweden.