Volunteers wanted for Morecambe Bay wildlife projects

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Wildlife lovers are being asked to help restore woodlands, wetlands and grassland areas across North Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Volunteers are needed for a series of activities throughout winter designed to improve habitats for butterflies, bees and other insect life which rely on Morecambe Bay’s trees, plants and flowers for food throughout the year.

People who sign up will help create the right conditions for some of the UK’s most precious butterflies, such as the Duke of Burgundy, as well as wildflowers including bog rosemary, rock rose and bird’s-foot-trefoil.

Locations include Eaves Wood near Silverdale and Savinhill Moss in the Lyth Valley, an area which has made it onto the Lonely Planet’s Beautiful World list.

The programme, being run by the RSPB, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, the National Trust and Butterfly Conservation as part of the Morecambe Bay Nature Improvement Area project, launches on Thursday, October 24 at Park Wood in Hutton Roof village.

The day will involve clearing bracken and then sowing wildflowers in the cleared areas to increase the supply of nectar for a variety of insects including pearl bordered fritillaries, which have declined in recent years.

Tania Crockett, community engagement officer for the Morecambe Bay Nature Improvement Area, said: “We will be providing a fun, relaxed and safe environment for people to try out this type of volunteering and no previous experience is required.

“This will be a great opportunity for people to work alongside knowledgeable and experienced volunteers, and learn a lot about the area and the wildlife that lives here.

“We will be running drop-in work parties at least once a week throughout the winter on both weekdays and at weekends so we can accommodate people who work and have family commitments.

“Volunteering for this project will be a great way to get fit and enjoy the local countryside, while making an important contribution to helping struggling wildlife.”

Volunteers for the first event should meet on the road at the southern end of Hutton Roof village at 10am.

People are advised to wearclothing and footwear appropriate for the outdoors and bring a packed lunch if planning to stay for the whole day.

For more information contact Adrienne King on 07753 775968 or visit www.arnsidesilverdaleaonb.org.uk