Cuerden Valley Park Trust (CVPT) the charitable trust who own and operate the popular Cuerden Valley Park is investing in a new multi-use path across a reclaimed meadow in front of the eco-Visitor Centre & Café.
Thanks to funding from Lancashire Environmental Fund and Clayton-le-Woods Parish Council, the multi-use path, to be made of recycled materials, will run through a former grazing field restored and replanted with native species of wild flowers and fruit trees.
The area, overlooked by the Café will offer greater access to the Park, linking up with the wider network of paths and trails, currently heavily used by walkers and cyclists. This project is the start of plans to repair damage caused by erosion and flooding in the Park over recent years, enhancing access to this popular green space enjoyed by over 300,000 visitors per year.
The new path replaces an existing route often known by runners as ‘Cardiac Hill’ which has suffered badly from erosion in the last few years.
The CEO of CVPT, Simon Thorpe said,
“The existing path is narrow and steep and not suited to all our visitor’s needs. Rather than repair the existing surface, which acts like a river in heavy rain, we are constructing a new wider path which meanders up the valley side, making circular routes in the Park accessible to more people.
The existing path has now been closed due to the extent of erosion and for the safety of our visitors. A temporary diversion has been created through the meadow linking the wooden footbridge to the Visitor Centre, giving a taste of the new path to come.”
In line with their principles of access, conservation and engaging with the local community, the Trust will be hoping to get volunteers involved with the restoration of the meadow by sowing seeds and planting plugs of species common to the area such as Yellow Rattle, Oxeye Daisy, Ladies Bedstraw and Common Knapweed. 97% of meadows have been lost in England since the 1930s and these are such important areas for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. The Trust’s project will create 2 hectares of restored meadow habitat for important wildlife species.
Design and construction work is set to start this summer. Mr Thorpe added:
“This is the first capital project in the parkland for some years, and we are enormously grateful for the support of the Parish Council and Lancashire Environmental Fund who have recognised the importance of investing in our beautiful Park to ensure it continues to meet the needs of our communities.”