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Autumn is a wonderful time of year to visit West Lancashire parks

Autumn is upon us and now is the time to harvest and make use of all the delights that the natural world offers up at this wonderful time of the year.

This is reflected in the fantastic range of free events on offer from West Lancashire Borough Council’s Parks and Countryside Ranger Service in September.

Councillor Yvonne Gagen, portfolio holder for Leisure, said: “Autumn is a great time to visit the local parks and there are some really good events taking place, so come along and join in the fun.”

You can join local foraging experts in exploring Beacon Country Park, Up Holland, on Saturday 16 September and Hunters Hill, Hilldale, on Sunday 24 September on Fungi and Foraging events. They will be looking to find all the different berries, nuts and fungi growing wild right on your doorsteps. There will also be an Autumn Forage event in Coronation Park, Ormskirk on Sunday 1 October. All events are free, start at 2pm and booking is required.

If that wasn’t enough there is a chance for further fruit foraging on the Orchard Restoration Day at Beacon Country Park on Saturday 30 September. The event is the latest in a series of events to restore the Beacon Park Orchard and it is an excellent opportunity to find out more about orchards and how to look after fruit trees. This event starts at 10am and booking is required.

If foraging for free food isn’t your thing then the Rangers are also organising a series of walks throughout the month.

On Monday September 4 there will be a five-mile ramble leaving Hunters Hill car park at 10am and looping around the local countryside. This walk is part of the Rangers’ advanced health walk series and will be set at a relaxed pace. Booking is not required for this event.

On Saturday 16 September the focus turns to bats. A regional bat expert will be guiding visitors around Coronation Park, Ormskirk discussing the different habitats in the park and how they are valuable to our local bat populations. This free Bat Walk event will start at 7.15pm and booking is required.

For walkers seeking a longer route the Skelmersdale circular walk on Sunday 17 September is for you. Meeting at 10am at Skelmersdale Library, the seven-mile walk will highlight just how beautiful and green some areas of Skelmersdale are. The walk is free and booking is not required.

For more information and to book onto any of the events please contact the Parks and Countryside Service on 01695 622794.

Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all these events. Please ensure you wear suitable footwear and clothing for the weather, ground conditions and the planned activity. For more information on local parks please visit www.westlancs.gov.uk/countryside.

For more information about volunteering opportunities with the Parks and Countryside Ranger Service please email beacon.park@westlancs.gov.uk or phone 01695 622794.

Please note that we can only accept volunteers aged 18+. You can also follow the Rangers on Twitter @WLBC_Rangers or www.facebook.com/wlbc.rangers.

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