Silverdale Country Park
Silverdale Country Park is characterised by a largely open grassland landscape with a number of distinct level changes created as a result of the stockpiled colliery spoil.
The resulting plateaus are separated by steep embankments colonised with natural grass and young tree planting. A small plateau at the highest point of the site, affords extensive views to the surrounding area. Skylarks are already abundant on the site in spring time and great crested newts can be found in the small ponds. A large pond known as Furnace Pool, is leased by the Silverdale Angling Society it although not available for public use, many local people are members of the society.
The park was created on the former Silverdale Colliery as part of a restoration project funded by the government's Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), using money from their National Coalfields Programme. Silverdale Country Park is now owned by national charity 'The Land Trust' and managed by charity 'Groundwork West Midlands' as a site for local people to enjoy quiet recreation and wildlife conservation".
National Land Management Charity, The Land Trust named Silverdale Country Park, managed by Groundwork West Midlands, in Newcastle-Under-Lyme as its Site of the Year 2014 at the charity's third annual awards ceremony.
Hassall Green Wildlife Haven
Hassall Green, a 2.2 hectare site, opened in spring 2014. Our vision is to allow it to become a haven for wildlife, and with its woodland surroundings and wildflower meadows; it certainly has the potential to attract key species that will use it as their home or as a resting point for onward travel.
In the 1950s, the site was used for landfill, and then as a tip for demolition waste in the 1970s until it was closed in the late 1980s. In 2013, the landowners, Hays Recruitment, safely remediated the site and in 2014, it was subsequently given to the Land Trust, as part of its growing portfolio of green open spaces, to support wildlife and benefit local communities.
Due to its historical use, it is closely and regularly monitored for any potential environmental risks to ensure it is safe for the local community and wildlife. Since the Land Trust has taken ownership, we now have a Ranger onsite and with regular checks to ensure nothing arises, we are able to take action straight away.
The site will be maintained as a peaceful area and as such, will be available on request for quiet recreation, such as ecological study and be of particular interest to schools, universities and other educational establishments.
It is available for public use upon request, so if any groups or individuals want to enjoy Hassall Green, then contact the ranger to arrange.
Through community engagement, we will be encouraging local people to get involved and help manage the site. For example, recruiting volunteers to help improve the biodiversity, providing guided walks and activities, working with teachers and lectures to include the site into their educational programmes.
Maintenance will include installing bird boxes; building and maintaining fences and gates; maintaining the wildflower meadows; ensuring route access is clear and undertaking ecological surveys to maximise biodiversity.
Many of these activities undertaken onsite all help to encourage biodiversity and as such, develop a strong ecosystem. Buzzards are regularly spotted in the area, and as a bird of prey at the top of the food chain, this is a great indicator that there is already a thriving ecosystem. With the help of volunteers and ecological studies, we can build on this to improve the area for the benefit of wildlife and the community. To find out how you can get involved contact Andrew Hunt, our site ranger directly on 07769 259404 or firstname.lastname@example.org