Saturday 19th August 2017
Walking Cheshire’s Sandstone Trail

The ‘Habitats and Hillforts’ Project

A skilled drystone waller at work at Manley Common, on the Sandstone Trail

A skilled drystone waller at work at Manley Common, on the Sandstone Trail

Cheshire West and Chester Council has a bold and forward-looking plan to conserve and enhance the countryside surrounding the mid-Cheshire Sandstone Ridge between Frodsham and Bickerton.

Originally called the Sandstone Ridge ECOnet (Ecological Network) Partnership, but now known as the ‘Habitats and Hillforts‘ project, this exciting project aims to create an interconnected web of new and restored woodland, heathland, peatland, wetland and grassland habitats along the ridge.

This ecological network will take shape over many years and create immense benefits for both wildlife and people.

Improved Quality of Life

It will also undoubtedly improve the quality of life of everyone who lives or works in the area.

The recovery and return of special habitats along the ridge — as part of a coherent and sustainable ecological network of large habitat areas and corridors—aims to:

• Expand and link areas for wildlife;
• Increase public enjoyment of the landscape;
• Celebrate the local cultural associations with the landscape;
• Support rural skills through training;
• Coordinate and improve the interpretation of this unique landscape for education and enjoyment.

Since 2004/5 over 90 projects have been supported locally to help realise the vision. Hedgerows and heathlands have been restored, the characteristic sandstone walls repaired, and opportunities created to enjoy and learn about the ridge.

Looking Ahead

By 2020, Cheshire’s ecological network will encompass nearly 4,000 hectares/10,000 acres of new and restored wildlife habitats. If we’re serious about saving our wildlife, then we must reshape how we work and think about the countryside.

Without such a vision, many of our plants and animals will continue to decline and eventually, perhaps, vanish altogether.

This cannot be allowed to happen.

New Sand Trail 2nd Ed Circular Walks along the Sandstone Trail
Official Guide: Sandstone Trail Circular Walks along the Sandstone Trail
£11.99 £6.99