Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge Funding Case Study
Town Lane Field, Lancashire. Owned by Heskin Parish Council
Successful applicant: £1,000 for a wildflower meadow, disabled access, a footpath, new benches.
Coun Ed Forshaw, chairman of Heskin Parish Council said:
“We are a small parish and short of public open space. Many, if not all, wildflower meadows have been lost as farming becomes more intensified. Our scheme will enable young and old to enjoy the splendour of a proper wildflower meadow and all that goes with it: wildlife, flora and fauna. Children from Heskin School will be involved in the designing of signs and the planting, as will our older people from the "Young at Heart" club. We have incorporated a user friendly path so that disabled people and young mums with prams can have easy access”.
Enriching their lives
Funding from Fields in Trust has enabled their local space to be improved and a focus for the community to enjoy. It will also be a valuable tool for children to learn to appreciate the natural environment and hopefully recapture the joy of the British Countryside at its best.
Increasing natural diversity
Heskin can now be proud to be contributing to reversing a national decline in these valuable habitats. Despite their high wildlife value and intrinsic cultural appeal, our magnificent meadows have suffered catastrophic declines. Between the 1930s and 1980s, 97% were lost across England and Wales.
Wildflower-rich grasslands are important ecosystems, supporting a rich diversity of plants and animals, including rare and declining species. They contribute to the well-being of our society and as a healthy ecosystem providing essential ‘services’. Wildflower-rich meadows and grasslands are an important store of carbon (about 34% of the global stock of carbon held in terrestrial ecosystems), they reduce the impact of flooding, emit fewer greenhouse gases due to lower livestock densities and fertiliser input, and improve soil nutrient retention.