The Bispham Pond Trail.
April saw the launch of Blackpool's Pond Trail – a new
initiative linking together a historic but little-known network of ponds and
wetlands that offer a tranquil alternative to the Golden Mile.
This green corridor through an urban area includes 23 ponds and a reedbed,
many of which are Biological Heritage Sites (wildlife sites that are important
at a county level). The trail stretches from Kincraig Lake (Bispham Marsh) in
the north to the reedbed off Holyoake Avenue in the south.
The trail will map and develop the ponds, tackling issues such as invasive
non-native plants, blocked footpaths, vandalism and litter. The project will
ensure that all the ponds are properly surveyed and have management plans, and
raise the profile of this unique urban oasis.
Working closely with Blackpool Council's Rangers and volunteers, newly
appointed Project Manager Pauline Taylor is seeking to involve more people in
hands-on activities improving the sites for people and for nature.
Likely future activities will include development of pathways, protective
fencing, woodland management and pond management. This will be followed
by spring surveys of ponds, looking for amphibians, macro invertebrates and
plants - work that Pauline hopes will involve local people who know their local
“The three year North Blackpool Pond Trail initiative involves a host of
partners who all bring different skills and interests” says Pauline.
“They include BEAT (Blackpool Environmental Action Team) Nature Watch and
Blackpool Council. What’s more, there’s already a lot of interest in the
idea from local people and special interest groups”.
Support totalling more than £251,000 has already been raised for the scheme,
including £231,000 from Natural England, as part of its £25million ‘Access to
Nature’ programme, funded through the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces
programme, plus £10,000 from United Utilities through it’s United Futures
partnership with the environmental charity Groundwork and further funding
through Blackpool Council and BEAT. Groundwork is managing the three year
Pietro Simone, of BEAT Naturewatch, said “This is fantastic project
resulting from the incredible amount of hard work that local people and partners
have put on to secure the funding. We want to make sure that the Pond Trail
delivers something the community can be proud of and an important asset for