THOUSANDS of trees and shrubs are being planted in Winsford this spring as part of an environmental improvement project.

The development on Clay Lane will see 5,026 woodland planting of trees and shrubs, 6,307 woodland edge planting of trees and shrubs, 405 native hedgerow shrubs and 432 aquatic plants.

This increased green habitat will provide a new home for wildlife including birds, insects, bats and badgers, along with other common amphibians.

It will also substantially boost the population of the great crested newt, a protected species in the area.

Working in partnership with its partner Public Sector Plc, the council’s regeneration, environment and planning teams have collaborated on the project at Clay Lane.

A licence was issued by Natural England earlier in the year to allow a large population of great crested newts to be moved from their home by Road One on Winsford Industrial Estate to a six acre site on the south boundary of the estate.

Hundreds of newts have been moved so far which means development work can continue on Winsford Industrial Estate.

Cllr Karen Shore, cabinet member for environment, said: “Cheshire West and Chester Council declared a climate emergency in May 2019 and this project supports our efforts to become carbon neutral.

“It will also mean work can begin on implementing vital improvements to Winsford Industrial Estate so that it can thrive and support the businesses keen to work in our borough, while ensuring the population of newts have a new habitat from which they can thrive.”

The new planting at Clay Lane is located in a new habitat area where seven ponds will be designed to support an additional great crested newt population in the Winsford area.

Additional habitats will be created including grassland, aquatic planting, woodland planting and hedgerows, which will provide the newts with places to feed, find shelter and hibernate.

Further development on the site will be prevented in the future. It will be subject to a long-term management plan to ensure the great crested newt population and other wildlife are protected.

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Paul Brown, chief operating officer at Public Sector Plc, said: “The modernisation and development of the Winsford Industrial Estate is not only delivering social-economic benefits for the local community, it is now helping to play a role in supporting the Council in delivering it’s carbon neutral agenda.”

School children and residents will be invited to take part in a tree planting event in March 2020.

This project supports the council’s work to become carbon neutral as part of our declaration to tackle the climate emergency alongside businesses, partners and local communities.