Ecology

A rich and diverse ecology

Introduction

Lightshaw Meadows is a stunning example of how the area's industrial heritage has shaped the local landscape. Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Red Rose Forest have restored the site's habitats for the benefit of key species, improving the status of the local Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Lightshaw Meadows is a unique wildlife habitat, created when land subsidence occurred with the closure of the area's coal mines. Where the land has collapsed, areas of open water (flashes) have formed as a result of flooding.

With its meadow and wetland landscape, the area is important for supporting populations of breeding birds requiring lowland water and wet grassland habitats. Bird viewing screens and guided walks have encouraged visitors to enjoy the area and its wildlife.

...the low lying land that roughly follows the canal along there is very wet because it’s low and it is low because of mining subsidence. It has affected the topography of the whole area and leaves a lasting legacy of mining.” Ian

Over the years millions and millions of tonnes have been taken out under Wigan. It’s amazing it stands up. It used to be the town that was built on coal, but a large part of the coal has gone.” Ian