07 June 2021
Work is due to start on a huge project to improve footpaths, habitats and signage at Trafford’s beautiful Wellacre Country Park. As part of the Trafford Countryside Management Programme, City of Trees have acquired funding from Veolia Environmental Trust and Trafford Council, to implement a myriad of improvements at Wellacre Country Park.
The project will improve the site’s biodiversity and bring better access to nature for local people - vital as part of the post-pandemic green recovery.
The improvements will include renewing a main footpath from Ambleside to Carrington Road to improve access and enhance safety, as well as replacing all signage and enhancing wildlife habitats across the park. There will also be volunteer conservation days so that residents can be part of the transformation of this important green asset.
In addition, new information boards and signs will be installed across the site. They will provide local wildlife and heritage information and encourage people to explore other local sites and routes as the parks links well to the Urmston Active Neighbourhood and wider Mersey Valley.
The project also includes habitat enhancements through woodland management, wildflower planting, grassland management and invasive species control, all of which are of vital importance as part of the ‘Nature Recovery’ agenda. City of Trees and The Conservation Volunteers will be holding community volunteering days to carry out these works, where they hope to involve local schools and residents.
Wellacre is a valuable asset within the community for walkers, joggers, horse riders, cyclists, anglers and nature enthusiasts. City of Trees has been co-ordinating the bid for Wellacre worth a total of £96,142. Funding of £71,142 has been secured from Veolia Environmental Trust, through the Landfill Communities Fund, matched by council funding and boosted by an additional £25,000 from Trafford Council’s Capital Programme.
Cllr Stephen Adshead, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Environmental and Regulatory Services, said: “This is fantastic news for Wellacre Country Park and I am delighted that Trafford Council was able to help fund the work which is due to take place.
“Trafford Council is passionate about the environment and we are committed to improving all of Trafford’s green spaces for future generations to enjoy, recognising the multiple benefits they bring. It is one of our main priorities and a key part of our pandemic recovery and climate emergency response through nature.”
El Walker, from City of Trees, said: “We are delighted to have secured this funding as part of our commitment to the Trafford Countryside Management Partnership. Wellacre Country Park is a beautifully diverse site with lots of potential for both visitors and wildlife. We are looking forward to involving the community in our volunteer days when we can.”
The project will improve the site for both visitors and wildlife. This is vital as the park is widely used and 87% of people surveyed felt that their physical or mental health had benefitted from their visit.
A study conducted by a master’s student at the University of Salford highlighted how vital the greenspace was for well-being, with one participant saying, “having access to this space improves both my physical and mental health. I’d be lost without it”. Another resident stated that they “benefit both physically and mentally [when] listening to birds, seeing wildflowers, butterflies”.
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City of Trees
City of Trees is an innovative and exciting movement, re-invigorating Greater Manchester’s landscape by restoring underused, unloved woodland and planting a tree for every person that lives in the City Region, within a generation. City of Trees is the Greater Manchester part of the Northern Forest. For more information about the charity visit www.cityoftrees.org.uk