Smithills - creating a resilient landscape, UK
Standing proud, to the north of Bolton, and visible on the skyline of Manchester, the 690 hectare (1706 acre) Smithills Estate lies on the southern edge of the West Pennine Moors. It is a classic example of an upland ecosystem which has fallen into serious decline through exploitation, damage and neglect. The estate has always been rich in wildlife, but beloved species such as the brown hare, lapwing and common lizard are all falling in numbers. The vision for Smithills Estate is to restore this degraded landscape to become wildlife-rich and resilient, able to adapt to and cope with current and future threats such as climate change, pests and diseases, and to provide people in the area with a wide range of services and benefits. With EOCA funding, The Woodland Trust will undertake a programme of tree planting activity, buffering existing woodland and providing new homes for a huge range of wildlife. These trees will be some of the first planted in the recently announced Northern Forest, where the Woodland Trust is working with the Community Forests to plant over 50 million trees over 25 years stretching from Liverpool in the west across to Hull in the East. In addition to conservation activity, a wide-ranging programme of recreational activities, learning and volunteering opportunities and new and improved visitor facilities will enable local people to engage with Smithills and experience the outdoors.