Mersey Gateway nature trail opens on Wigg Island
A special nature trail dedicated to the Mersey Gateway Project has opened on Wigg Island in Runcorn.
The Wigg Island Environmental Trail has been set up by construction consortium Merseylink, and local charity, the Mersey Gateway Environmental Trust.
The self-guided trail will provide visitors with information about the local ecology, and the steps that the project is taking to preserve and protect the local environment.
New information boards have been installed across Wigg Island so visitors can find out more about the wildlife on their doorstep. This includes birds, bats, butterflies, bees, migrating fish and an abundance of plant species.
The one-mile walk takes in wildflower meadows, woodland, wetland, as well as the existing troll trail, an interesting selection of wood and ceramic sculptures designed and created by Halton Borough Council.
Yousuf Shaikh, Chair of the Mersey Gateway Environment Trust, believes that the trail will be a great addition to Wigg Island.
He said: “The Upper Mersey Estuary is home to a rich variety of plant, animal and marine life, some of which visitors may be lucky enough to see for themselves during a trip to Wigg Island. There are some beautiful local habitats to explore and I’d encourage anyone interested in the natural world to come down to take a look.”
Victoria Pollard, Merseylink’s Environment Manager, said: “We are constantly monitoring the local environment to check that these important ecosystems are not affected during construction. This involves our specialist team of ecologists regularly surveying the saltmarsh, river channels and water quality, as well as the birdlife, bats and migrating fish.”
Halton Borough Council Leader and Chair of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, Rob Polhill, said: “This is a wonderful way to celebrate our local natural environment and share the many environmental benefits that this project will provide. The trail will bring people closer to nature and enable them to get an excellent view of the bridge construction that is happening in the estuary.”
The environmental trail will complement the project’s visitor centre at the Catalyst Science Discovery Centre in Widnes, and the planned visitor centre for Runcorn, which is due to open later this year.