Coronavirus Update (COVID 19)

We know it is an uncertain time for everyone and our usual way of life will be very different for a while.

Responding to new Government advice

13 May 2020

Following the Government’s announcements to ease restrictions on Sunday, we know many of you will be keen to see our closed sites reopen. As a Trust, we take the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers very seriously. Many of our staff remain on furlough, which is helping us secure the future of our charity while so many of our income sources remain on ‘pause’.

Our task and monitoring team have been doing an excellent job looking after our wild places, and sadly tackling the rising anti-social behaviour. Litter is at an all-time high with footfall increasing significantly on many sites that were once rarely visited.

We would love to open our doors to you again at our most popular sites such as Brockholes, Mere Sands Wood and Lunt Meadows, but we must ensure we have the measures in place to do so safely. Whilst we have thoroughly enjoyed watching wildlife flock to these sites, we do not feel it is quite the time to encourage people to do the same.

It is crucial that any wildlife which has ‘moved in’ to more public areas is protected. At Little Woolden Moss, we have recently closed some of the paths as we have seen birds nesting very closely to them.

Wildlife has been helping us all through this difficult time in so many ways, and we hope that many will emerge from isolation with a new found love and care for our natural world. We must repay the favour now and work hard to secure nature’s recovery.

We all have an individual role to play in the fight against this pandemic, and as an organisation we are committed to playing a collective and positive role. For now, our car parks will remain closed. We will let you know as soon as we are able to open them. Our visitor centres will follow later and when it is safe to do so, and we have all the measures in place. We will keep you all informed.

Thank you for your continued support and patience through this, it has been wonderful to see so many of you stepping up for wildlife when it’s needed most. Thanks to you, we can continue to care for our local wild places.

Anne Selby
CEO

Monday 11 May

Following the announcement from Boris Johnson yesterday evening, we are reviewing the updated government advice and planning an appropriate phased return, which ensures the safety of all our staff and visitors. Please be patient as we work through the next steps, we will update our website as soon as possible.

A message from our CEO - Anne Selby

This week marks the start of the Easter holidays for many of you across the region. For our bigger nature reserves this would usually mean our teams have geared-up to welcome thousands of you into nature, to make special memories and nurture your love of wildlife. 

Instead, our gates are closed to human visitors, but we continue to care for our wild places. They are alive with busy nesting birds, bees in search of spring flowers and our first butterflies. 

I have heard them say; "They can't cancel spring." It's true that nature will continue to thrive on the 50 nature reserves that we so carefully manage and protect in our region, thanks to you.

And in turn, during these difficult days, be it a glimpse through our window, precious memories in our minds eye or by watching our favourite wildlife documentary - nature can care for us and offer us a moment of solace.

For now, we will continue to help you remain connected to nature however we can. 

We look forward to a time when we can come together, venture out into the treasured wild places that you are helping protect and make some new nature memories to cherish. 

Stay safe, stay connected to nature. 

Anne Selby
CEO 

Creating a task force for nature

Monday 6 April

The COVID-19 virus outbreak is placing severe restrictions on our working lives, but we will continue to work, under strict controls, to ensure our nature reserves remain perfect and safe habitats for wildlife.

It's with great sadness that we've had to make the tough but necessary decision to furlough 45 per cent of our wonderful staff. Though this will help our small charity weather the storm of COVID-19, it does mean that, in the meantime, there will be even more pressure on our nature reserves. So we can continue protecting these wildlife refuges and the creatures that depend on them, and safeguard the health of our remaining conservation team, we've formed a monitoring and response team approach to reserve work.

Find out more

Government guidance on access to green spaces

Wednesday 1 April

The government’s priority is to save lives and the best way to protect yourself and others from illness is to stay at home.

However, exercise is still important for people’s physical and mental wellbeing, so the government has said people can leave their homes for exercise once a day.

Please use the following guidance in order to stay safe:

  • Stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily.
  • You should only go outside alone or with members of your own household.
  • Keep at least two metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times.
  • Gatherings of more than two people in parks or other public spaces have been banned and the police will enforce this.
  • If you have a garden, make use of the space for exercise and fresh air.
  • Take hygiene precautions when you are outside, and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors.

More information from Gov.uk

Brockholes Nature Reserve closed

Tuesday 24th March

Going from the latest Government guidelines regarding Covid-19, the Lancashire Wildlife Trust has taken the decision to close the gates to Brockholes from this evening (Tuesday March 24th).

This is for the health and safety of our visitors and staff and we will be reviewing the situation and following Government advice weekly and hope to be open again very soon.

Once again, thank you to all our visitors for your continued support at this unprecedented time. Please enjoy nature and wildlife in your own homes and gardens and follow our social media channels for ideas to keep you busy in this isolation period.

We promise to be back soon and can't wait to see you there.

Gates are closed

Brockholes Visitor Village closed

Friday 20th March

With the announcement from the Government this evening, we are very sad to say that tonight we will be pulling up our drawbridge and closing the Visitor Village until further notice. We can’t thank our wonderful visitors, staff and volunteers enough for your support recently. Nature is still open for business, you can still visit the reserve, please take care of it if you do and help us keep it special for everyone who visits, including the wildlife.

We know some places are offering free parking and we understand why, but our parking charges will still apply. We are a small charity facing a huge income loss and we are determined to keep going to look after local wildlife, and the people in the communities where we work.

Rest assured, we will be back and when we are we will need your support more than ever!

Take care of yourselves and your loved ones, and don’t forget to spend some time enjoying nature wherever you can.

Lots of love,

The Brockholes Team

See you soon

A message to all of our supporters and visitors

Thursday 19 March 2020

As an organisation, we take our role in our communities seriously and we are aware that, for many, we are an essential part of their social contact.

This is a rapidly evolving situation and we have an internal task team focusing on this to ensure we are making the best decisions hour by hour. We already know how critical nature is to health and wellbeing, but now it seems that nature will be a lifeline to many.

For those who are unable to get outdoors, our teams are busy working to pull together ways in which you can enjoy natural wellbeing in your gardens, or share your favourite nature moments with us online.

The safety and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and visitors is our priority and we are closely following Government guidelines. As the situation changes daily, so will our actions accordingly.

We are, as yet, uncertain of the long-term impact. Our teams are still working hard to protect nature on your behalf, whilst taking the necessary precautions. I would ask that you please continue to support us if you are able to. Your local wildlife needs you now more than ever.

I know many of you will have concerns, many of you will be required to isolate from your usual routines and social interactions. The Wildlife Trust movement has an army of supporters - you are and always will be part of this force for nature. And you can be sure we will be here for you and our wonderful wildlife however we can.

We may be facing the unknown, but we can work together and keep our wild community sharing the wonders of the natural world together, however we can.

We will be stopping all volunteering activities and events until further notice, but we will keep our reserves open for as long as we can.

For now, the cafes at Brockholes and Moss Bank Park will remain open. 

Mere Sands Wood nature reserve will remain open, but the visitor facilities will not. Our other nature reserves remain open.

In our visitor centres we are taking extra precautions, including card only payments.

Let’s keep working together to ensure the wildlife of Lancashire, Manchester and Merseyside is still in our hearts and minds.

Anne Selby
CEO – The Lancashire Wildlife Trust

We're getting ready to welcome you back

Friday 26th June

Today we announced plans to reopen our car park from July 4th, 2020, with the opening of the Visitor Village to follow later in July. 

We know you are all eager to visit and explore again. Please remember Brockholes is a nature reserve and needs treating with care. Please help us look after this special place by taking your rubbish home or using the bins provided, don’t bring barbecues and remember the reserve is a dog free zone to help protect the wildlife that calls Brockholes home.

Please see our dedicated reopening webpage for more information.

Re-opening page