Carbon Landscape, which began in 2017, held the event to take a look at its conservation efforts across stretches of post-industrial land over the past five years, as it now comes to an end.
It has hosted local artists, a resident poet, guest speakers, commissioned art exhibitions, as well as everyone involved in the project, which was put together to make people more aware of their natural surroundings and encourage them to go out and explore it.
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The project covered wetlands across Wigan, as well as sections of Salford and Warrington, which were once used for coal and peat mining, as well as agriculture, which meant it was a hostile landscape, but these areas were now reclaimed by nature.
There are a total of 13 partners involved in the Carbon Landscape project such as the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and conservation organizations such as Natural England and Woodland Trust, along with local authorities and community groups who have all worked together to make it happen.
Becky Royce, assistant and head of communications and support at the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, said: “Our project had three main objectives: to bring people to green spaces, to make them aware that they have them, and to support people in helping them know how. they can take better care of these wildlife areas.
“To celebrate, we have many exhibits commissioned by artists, we also took a wonderful boat trip along the canal so we can see the areas we have worked to preserve while enjoying a delicious ‘bog-brownie’ at the same time, because part of our habitat is rather swampy.
“In five years you can forget all the work you have done, this event allows us to look back and remember all the hard work and efforts we have done.
“When you realize the impact you’ve had and how many people have been involved, that’s such a good thing.
“An important part of our project was to get people involved, organize events and get them outdoors and the Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to that, but we got over it with things like online seminars and we’re really proud.”
Resident Poet Claire Shaw said, “Being the resident poet introduced me to green areas that I didn’t even know and gave me a deep understanding of the history of the communities and those landscapes.
“The work focuses on the stories that are embedded in those areas both past and present.
“When we restore landscapes, we restore ourselves as well and so there has been a lot of mental health resonance within that work as well.
“The block took people out and into nature, suddenly they became much more aware of things like birdsong and so it was a really good time for that.”