A FRIENDS group has got big plans for a popular nature reserve after they were awarded cash for improvements.
The Friends of Fishwick and St.Matthew’s (FoFS) has received a Green Grant of more than £1,200 to improve Fishwick Local Nature Reserve.
The group is planning to carry out work in Common Bank Wood, part of the Fishwick Local Nature Reserve.
The woodland was named by pupils from the nearby St.Matthew’s Primary School, who have also helped to design a mosaic which will be installed in the reserve next year.
Bob Fletcher, FoFS Treasurer said: “The money will enable us to bring in expertise and help from Lancashire Wildlife Trust, which will be a much needed boost to existing volunteer effort at the reserve.
“The biggest task is clearing non-native trees to create space for other trees, such as Oak, Ash, Hawthorn and Holly.
“We will also be planting over 800 woodland wildflowers and making boxes for birds and bats.”
The Preston Council Park Ranger for Fishwick will work closely with the Friends of Fishwick and St.Matthew’s and the Trust to help carry out the work over the winter months.
Flower planting will take place during Wednesday volunteering sessions.
And most the tree work will be carried out by Wildlife Trust volunteers on Thursdays.
Bob added: “We will be seeking to involve a number of local youth groups and school children to help make the bird and bat boxes.
“There will be opportunities for the public to get involved, over the next few months, and we will advertise these through our web site.”
Coun Martin Rawlinson added: “This is very much a community project and we hope to involve a number of local youth groups and school children.
“Friends of Fishwick and St.Matthew’s are doing a fantastic job improving the environment around Fishwick and St.Matthew’s.”
The community group exists to maintain and improve the environment and community facilities in the two neighbouring wards.
Green Grants, are funded and awarded by the rail company First TransPennine Express and the Forestry Commission.
The grants are available for environmental improvements in relation to tree and/or woodlands for the benefit of the community.
The reserve is owned by Preston Council and is managed for both its nature conservation interest and for public recreation.
For more information about the group visit their website at : www.friendsoffishwickandstmatthews.org.uk
Or alternatively go to Twitter.com/FishwickStMatts or search Friends of Fishwick St Matthews fofs Preston on Facebook.