A few minutes walk from the High Street is this “Jewell in Garstang’s Crown” – an area, situated on the western bank of the River Wyre, that has been set aside for wildlife conservation and community events. This area is managed by volunteers under the auspices of a registered charitable trust established in 2000 to represent the interests of the community.
Wildlife & Biodiversity
The River Wyre flowing along the eastern boundary attracts many birds such as Kingfishers, Sand Martins, Dippers, Tree Creepers, Grey Wagtails and Goosanders.
The Green is located within the River Wyre Flood Control Basin. During prolonged heavy rain, flood gates are closed at Garstang to protect downstream villages. The Green and surrounding fields become a reservoir for the flood water until it can be safely released. This poses challenging conditions for cultivation of our wildflower meadows.
The hedgerows along some of the boundaries provide habitat for resident songbirds such as Blackbird, Song Thrush and Dunnock and also migrants such as willow Warblers and Whitethroat.
The path of the river is a feeding site for bats and a colony reside in boxes that we have erected in mature trees. There has been evidence of Otter activity on the river banks.
The grassland along the river bank is left uncut to provide habitats for Moths, Butterflies and many insects. There is a general grass management programme to encourage wildlife.
New and carefully maintained hedgerows and copses provide important habitats for birds and many other creatures. All plantings are of native species.
During 2011, following widening and improvements to levels and drainage, all the major pathways were resurfaced. The grassed paths on the western boundary have been reinforced with anti erosion mesh. New gateways, litter bins in stone enclosures and new notice boards were installed. Work on the hard surfaced paths was performed by specialist contractors and most other work was performed by the Wyre Countryside Rangers and our loyal band of volunteers. Funding was provided by grants from The Big Lottery Fund, Lancashire Environmental Fund and Groundwork. Upon completion of the developments, the Lancashire Environmental Fund presented an Open Space / Recreation Award to the Millennium Green Trust for excellent project management,commitment by all the team, project delivery and community involvement.
Unfortunately, the wood carving of a Dipper bird, a popular feature for many years, succumbed to dry rot but, a new carving was commissioned and is now erected on an appropriate stone boulder.
Close to the north and south entrances to the Green, interpretation boards have been erected showing a map of the Green and highlighting various features. We are grateful to Wyre Borough Council, The Environment Agency and Stone UK for their support to provision of the boards.
Walking from the Green
Within the Green is a circular walk that takes about 30 minutes. Dog walking is allowed, off lead, as long as good practices are followed that keep the area safe and clean for children to play. It makes an ideal starting point for longer walks and lies on the route of the Wyre Way and easily connects to the Scorton Millennium footpath. Longer walks are possible, to Nicky Nook, the Trough of Bowland and to Scorton, returning via the canal path.
The Family Area
This was opened in 2009. It is set with picnic tables, enclosed for safety and to maintain it as a dog free zone. There is a storytelling area which is used by local schools and other groups.
Friends of the Millennium Green
This group supports the Trust by raising funds to cover vital routine maintenance expenditure which is excluded from most major development grants. Funds are raised via membership subscriptions, donations, coffee mornings, bric a brac sales and a popular series of lectures on natural history topics. Friends receive regular Newsletters informing them what is happening on the Green. To join the Friends, you can download and print the application form from our website [see below] or, contact Christine Cummins, Membership Secretary [07910 419246]. The Friends most recent Newsletter can also be viewed via our website.
New recruits are always welcome to join our friendly band of volunteer “Green keepers” with mowing and other tasks. Please contact Stewart Sim, Organiser of Work Team on 01995 601063.
Please visit our new website www.garstangmillenniumgreen.org.uk. Here you can find news of events, read our brochure and newsletter etc. If you cannot find the information you require, please contact Colin Sills, Chairman of Management Team on 07544 550581.