A new project that aims to transform a nature reserve at the site of a former quarry is due to start within weeks.
Quarry Hill, a former landfill site in Nelson, is one of a number of public open spaces across Lancashire created in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Lancashire County Council has teamed up with community interest company Proffitts – Investing in Communities, to make it ‘more welcoming and attractive.’
The plans for the area include upgrading path surfaces, cutting back overhanging vegetation to improve viewpoints, and tackling dead, diseased and damaged trees. Handrails will also be installed where needed, boundary fencing repaired and replaced, and signage and seating added around the site. There will also be some improvements to entrances and gateways to make the site more welcoming.
Works, which are due to begin on November 28, also include improvements to steps and pathways, resurfacing the car park, improving drainage in waterlogged areas and repairing a damaged bridge. They will also clear tree edges from pathways, remove non-native species in the woodland and plant more wildflowers.
County Councillor Shaun Turner, cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: “I am so pleased that these improvements to Quarry Hill Nature Reserve are almost underway. The consultation process has given us some great practical ideas for improving the space – whilst also ensuring that we minimise any negative environmental impacts and keep the space as natural as possible. We look forward to welcoming people back to Quarry Hill once the work has been completed, and hope that, as well as being appreciated by everyone who visits regularly, the improvements will help to attract some new visitors.”
Maureen Roberts, who lives nearby, has been involved with making improvements to the site since 2003. She said: “We’re lucky to have Quarry Hill Nature Reserve so close and we’re sure the changes will improve the visitor experience for everyone.
“Many local residents love spending time here, and I’d encourage anyone who loves walking, exploring, and getting close to nature to visit. We are also inviting people to join the informal group – we aim to keep the nature reserve lovely by organising some litter picks and go on group walks around the area using the nature reserve as a starting point.”
The site will remain open for the duration of the works. However, warning barriers will be installed around the working areas to advise visitors where the contractors are carrying out works that day.