With now less than 3,500 breeding pairs in Britain the population of Willow Tits is estimated to have declined by nearly 90% since 1970 and with parts of Europe having seen declines of over 40%, the birds have been given a Red Listing of Conservation Concern in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan for Priority Species.
The canal part of the New Cut and Heritage Trail has since 2002 been progressively improved by Warrington Borough Council and more recently by a newly formed group of local residents intent actively promoting and developing the trail
Lynda Eagan, New Cut Heritage and Ecology Trail Group said “It is marvellous to think that this important stretch of historic canal, long abandoned has new life both as a nature reserve and an area of recreation. This new discovery provides more evidence of value to the environment that Warrington’s wonderful waterway history provides.”
Anne Price, Press Officer, said “Local residents first alerted us to the possible presence of the species and now they have been seen everyone in the group is delighted with this news. We have been selected as one of the locations to be surveyed as part of a co-ordinated surveillance of this species in the months March and May 2016. The survey is being undertaken as part of the Carbon Lanscape project under the guidance of Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside Wildlife Trust.
The first survey recorded sightings of one bird plus information regarding confirmed sightings of at least three additional birds seen on other occasions.
www.newcuttrail.com (under construction)
Facebook: New Cut Heritage & Ecology Trail Group
Ian Johnson Chairman, Lynda Eagan Vice Chairperson
Les Green & Anne Price Publicity and Funding