Mere Sands Wood: Why and when they are digging up the paths at this Lancashire nature reserve

Work is underway to widen the paths at Mere Sands Wood nature reserve in Rufford, West Lancashire and improve habitats for bats.
Mere Sands Wood - Visitor CentreMere Sands Wood - Visitor Centre
Mere Sands Wood - Visitor Centre

Currently, paths at the nature reserve are too narrow with old footbridges preventing access for important reserve work.

The work will make better habitat management possible, and allow for safer clearance of fallen and dangerous trees. It will also mean better access for ongoing maintenance,

including on hides, and emergency response.

Wildlife at Mere Sands WoodWildlife at Mere Sands Wood
Wildlife at Mere Sands Wood
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The project has been made possible by funding from the Biffa Award, a multi-million pound fund that awards grants to communities and environmental projects across the UK.

The work, taking place between September 2022 and March 2023, will include removing narrow bridges for culverts, making them easier to cross and removing deteriorating chicken wire. The disused tower hide will be renovated into an improved home for bats, giving these night-time flyers a luxury home with maximum privacy.

While this work is going ahead, some popular paths will need to be diverted for safety, with detours suggested.

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust Head of People Engagement, Tim Burrows said: “While this may be an inconvenience to regular visitors, it will give them an

Wildlife at Mere Sands WoodWildlife at Mere Sands Wood
Wildlife at Mere Sands Wood
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opportunity to wander onto other paths and see other parts of our amazing reserve.”

“If you take a different track you may just see some wildlife you have never seen at Mere Sands Wood before, like red squirrel and kingfisher, or some of the colourful

fungi that appears in autumn and winter.”

Work will also continue on hides in the woodland and wetland reserve, allowing nature lovers to get closer to wildlife, if they are quiet!”

Tim said: “Obviously, the work will involve the sympathetic removal of some trees and other vegetation, but it will take place outside of bird nesting season and be ready for next spring, when our wild visitors are ready for love.”

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“We also need to stress that the closures will not all take place at once, so your favourite path may be open for a large part of the winter. Paths will be widened and improved which will make the reserve accessible to everyone.”

Mere Sands Wood also has a café and visitor centre where visitors can relax after their exploration of the reserve.

For more information go the website https://www.lancswt.org.uk/mere-sands-wood

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