Bollin Biodiversity Project


In 2021 we were successfully awarded a £109,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery as part of their Green Recovery Challenge Fund to carry out a habitat restoration project along the Bollin called ‘Bollin Biodiversity’.

Working in partnership with the River Bollin Environmental Action and Conservation (BEACON) group, Cheshire East Council, Tatton Estates, National Trust and Natural England, the funding will help us boost the biodiversity of the River Bollin and help bring it back to health.

As part of this project, we will also be engaging with local communities to improve their connection to their local river for health, wellbeing and recreation.   

Working with our partners and local volunteers, the funding will help us reverse the decline of native plant species along the River Bollin, by planting native trees and wildflowers to improve river valley habitats, and using natural materials to restore some priority river reaches that are prone to erosion or siltation.  We will also work to remove invasive non-native species, and restore habitats such as heathland and upland by controlling trees. 

Jobs and Volunteers

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund funding will allow Mersey Rivers Trust to retain two members of staff, and employ one young person as a full time, paid trainee. 

We have recruited four Volunteer Trainees who will benefit from joining us on working parties, recieveing formal training and careership advice, and this project also means that we can also support our existing volunteers with more training opportunities, new and different working parties where they can learn conservation skills, and the chance to meet new people and network.  

You can see the working parties we have scheduled here, and get in touch if you would like to get involved.


Peatland Restoration – Dunham Massey Estate

This funding will support our work to restore historic areas of peatland in Dunham Massey, and improve the condition of the internationally important Dunham Parkland SSSI site.

Peatland is a rare and threatened habitat, with over 80% of peatlands in the UK having been lost or damaged. Peatlands are unique ecosystems formed on peat, a type of soil that is created in waterlogged conditions where dead plants are unable to rot down. Mosses that grow on peatlands act as sponges, holding in water and maintaining the wet conditions. Peatlands are home to many rare plants, insects and birds, and also act as huge carbon stores. We therefore think they’re worth saving.

Our peatland restoration work will take place in two locations. The first is near the western entrance to Dunham Park, where an outflow of an already wet area of peatland will be blocked, and small plugs of peat collapsed into the adjacent drainage structures to enable this small area of peatland to consistently hold more water.

The second location is near the main Visitor Car Park. Here, two ditches leading into a small wooded area will become home to a series of leaky dams, which will hold back water in this historic piece of peatland, but also provide a slow overflow effect during heavy rainfall (hence the term ‘leaky’) to maintain the optimum amount of water in this habitat. Two small scrapes or pools will be created at the end of each of the channels, again to provide somewhere for the water to overflow into and to also improve the biodiversity here by creating homes for invertebrates and amphibians.

Works here are due to take place in February and March 2023, with minimal disruption to pedestrian access or visitor experience.


We are extremely thankful to the Green Recovery Fund for awarding us this grant.  Sally Potts, Mersey Rivers Trust Project Manager said, ‘We are very excited about this project as it will enable us to further progress our work on river and habitat restoration, support our new and exsting volunteers, and build on the success of previous years’.

For more information or to get involved in similar projects, please contact us here.

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is short-term competitive fund to kick-start environmental renewal while creating and retaining a range of jobs in England. 

The Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund was developed by Defra and its Arm's-Length Bodies  The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.

You can find out more about this fund here.



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