A PRECIOUS peat bog, best known for the discovery of Britain’s most intact Iron Age body, is to be protected.

Groundwork Cheshire Lancs & Merseyside has been awarded a £250,000 grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to conserve and restore the Lindow Moss landscape.

Groundwork has received a grant of £250,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund on behalf of the Lindow Moss Landscape Partnership for an ‘exciting’ natural heritage project it is co-ordinating in Wilmslow, Cheshire: Lindow Moss – A Landscape In Discovery.

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Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project will start in February and will help to deliver a programme of work that will conserve, restore and interpret this important landscape.

The Lindow Moss Landscape has been described as ‘archaeologically and historically one of the most important lowland wetlands in Britain’.

Knutsford Guardian: The peat bog at Lindow MossThe peat bog at Lindow Moss (Image: Lindow Moss Landscape Partnership)

For many years, peat extraction on an industrial scale, along with continual drainage to support low grade farming and pasture has led to ecological and environmental decline.

At the heart of the landscape is a ‘cut over’ peat bog.

At the centre is the find site of Lindow Man, Britain’s most intact Iron Age Bog Body.

The site is unmarked.

Supported through the Heritage Fund, the project will harness community support through a programme ecological restoration and interpretation.

It will also train a new generation of people in the green skills needed by the emerging green economy, specifically woodland management, peat conservation and nature recovery, all areas with a current skills deficit nationally. Andrew Darron, Groundwork executive director said: “We are delighted to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players.

“Lindow Moss is one of the most important sites in the north west from an archaeological and environmental perspective.

“This funding will not only enable us to conserve and protect its rich history but ensure that it also plays a significant role in the future prosperity of the local area.”

Groundwork is one of the founding partners of the Lindow Moss Landscape Partnership which was enabled by the Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan. It is a collective of liked-minded partners, land owners and organisations that are committed to working together in order to conserve, restore and interpret the wider Lindow Moss landscape.

Brian Donohue, chairman of the Lindow Moss Landscape Partnership, said: “The Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan Implementation Group has over a two-year period harnessed the latent and active interest of many groups and individuals to come together to form the Lindow Moss Landscape Partnership and participate in a planned 10 year programme.

“It is a credit to all involved that this important partnership is now active.” The partnership has developed a 10-year plan to deliver its vision of a ‘landscape in recovery – for nature, for the climate and for our citizens’.

The work will include:

• Ensuring Lindow Moss is recognised, celebrated, conserved and protected for its unique heritage.

• Improving bio-diversity and nature recovery, with a practical programme of conservation volunteering.

• Realising the potential to capture and store carbon from the atmosphere.

• Harnessing the potential to support the health, wealth and happiness of the community with the involvement and support from local businesses.

• Providing a training ground to develop new skills for a greener economy.

• Creating a social action programme that enables communities to take the lead.

Helen Featherstone, director, England north at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we are thrilled to support this project that will ensure these important wetlands are safeguarded while giving local people a chance to connect with this amazing landscape.

“It is vital that we value and protect our natural heritage so it is sustained for the future, and this project has that at its core.”