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On Friday 3rd August 2018 the Mersey Rivers Trust held a Balsam Bash at Rayner Park in Hindley, Wigan. The event was run as part of the Carbon Landscape project to help improve the riparian habitat along Borsdane Brook and Hey Brook. It will also help to improve water quality in both brooks by allowing deeper rooted vegetation to grow, providing stronger banks therefore reducing erosion and sediment input.

Volunteers from Friends of Rayner Park, Borsdane Friends group and local residents joined in pulling up invasive non-native Himalayan Balsam from along the banks of Borsdane Brook. This will allow native plants to thrive and provide better access to the brook.

Thanks to all the volunteers who came to help. We did a great job in a short space of time but there is plenty more bashing to be done in the park!

 Before and after



Nature lovers turn out to record wildlife on a ‘bioblitz’ day that uncovers biodiversity in the Bollin.

Most people will remember 7th July as the day when England beat Sweden in the World Cup to go on to the semi-finals.  However, also on that day there was a Bioblitz at Riverside Park in Macclesfield; an event to showcase the wildlife found in the park.

The Bioblitz, funded by the People’s Postcode Trust, saw over 100 people of all ages come along to enjoy guided walks, worm charming, River Safari and Pond Dipping activities.  The Bioblitz Trail also went down well with younger nature hunters.  The weather was excellent and just perfect for getting on your hands and knees to look for mini-beasts and bugs, followed by a cooling dip in the river to hunt for fish and riverflies was ideal.  An environmental artist was also there to help create printed pictures of all the bugs, fish, plants and beasts people discovered.


A team of dedicated naturalists and volunteers were on hand to lead guided walks and activities, and also help members of the public identify the insects, plants, birds and other species that they fond – and to log these details to build up a picture of the biodiversity in Riverside Park.

On the day there were 102 different plant, bird, pond, river and butterfly species recorded, which is great news for Riverside Park.  Of the 102 species, there were over 500 individual animals or plants recorded on the day, so many of the species we found were there in abundance.  These records have been collated and sent to the local records centre for Cheshire too add to their database.

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BEACON Project Manager, Sally Potts, said: ‘Today has been a great opportunity for getting young and old involved in looking for, identifying and recording wildlife.  Almost everyone has learned something new about the wildlife around them today, and it’s amazing to see the array of different species and various habitats in a local park that so many people use but don’t associate with all this interesting wildlife.’

Thank you to everyone that came along and made this day a success, watch this space for information on next year’s Bioblitz run by BEACON and the Bollin Valley Partnership. 

For more information on upcoming Bioblitz’s please visit:



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We held a great riverbank restoration session on the River Irk today at Alkrington, planting Phragmites Reeds in the new wetland, and coppicing timber to infill eroded sections of riverbank. Our kick samplers found blue winged olives - the first one ever recorded on the Irk and irrefutable evidence that water quality in the River Irk is improving. Just downstream a young angler caught the trout of a lifetime..... a very enjoyable day.

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On Wednesday 20th June, the Mersey Rivers Trust trained 21 volunteers to become River Guardians as part of the Carbon Landscape 'Hey Brook Revival' project. Using citizen science techniques, they will monitor the water quality of Borsdane and Hey Brook in Wigan and record the data using our new Survey123 app form. The data will be displayed on a publicly-available, interactive GIS map and will allow us to keep an eye on watercourses throughout the Mersey Basin.

It was a great turnout, nice to see so many people getting involved and caring for their environment. There will be lots more volunteer events as part of this project for them to get involved in. Thank you to all the volunteers that came and congratulations on becomming River Guardians!

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The Mersey Rivers Trust team had a great day out searching for the source of the River Tame above Denshaw on Saddleworth Moor.
Curlew, Skylarks, Meadow Pippits, Frogs, and midges; Bogs, Meadows, Moorlands and the City in the valley below. The Mersey Basin contains some of the most diverse habitat in the UK - what a fantastic place.

The morning walk was followed by a team meeting to discuss exciting upcoming projects, volunteer week, bids and our new app form for water quality this space!

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