Veolia Environmental Trust provides £167,000 boost to Lancashire Wildlife Trust project to restore vital peatlands

Little Woolden Moss

Thanks to the generous support of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Lancashire Wildlife Trust has received funding to restore a peat bog near Astley which will reduce carbon emissions and provide a habitat for the newly reintroduced Manchester Argus butterfly after 150 years.

In September 2023, £167,000 was donated to the Lancashire Wildlife Trust to expand their stewardship of Astley Moss Nature Reserve which preserves vital peatlands in Greater Manchester. Over 99% of this peatland has been drained and its current usage means 112.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent is being emitted annually, which is the same as an average car driving the circumference of the Earth more than two and a half times.  

The Trust will restore the land so the peatland can absorb and store carbon in perpetuity and will provide a habitat for the Manchester Argus butterfly which was reintroduced in 2020 following a 150 year absence. This brings the total donation to the area to just under £1 million in funding.

Over the past 25 years, the Veolia Environmental Trust has invested in local community and environmental projects from nature reserves to skateparks, working alongside partners such as regional Wildlife Trusts and community groups. The money raised from the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) has transformed 910 community centres, 337 play areas, 368 nature reserves, 263 sports facilities, 183 parks, 15 woodlands and 40 community gardens to date.

Sarah Johnson, Head of Peatland Nature Recovery at the Lancashire Wildlife Trust said:
"We are really excited to be able to acquire this land thanks to the vital funding from Veolia Environmental Trust. The site is another piece in the Greater Manchester peatland jigsaw and will help us create an ecological corridor for nature and wildlife to thrive. It will be especially important to our local population of Manchester argus butterflies that we were able to reintroduce to neighbouring Astley Moss SSSI, thanks to previous funding from Veolia Environmental Trust. Without the support of funders like Veolia Environmental Trust we simply wouldn’t be able to make this tangible difference for nature.”

New Land Astley

Caroline Schwaller MBE, Chair of the Veolia Environmental Trust said:

“The Lancashire Wildlife Trust and the Veolia Environmental Trust have been partners for a number of years now and this donation solidifies our relationship and commitment to preserve our planet. Our donation will help reduce carbon emissions and protect endangered species. This is what the Trust is all about and we are looking forward to supporting projects just like this in the future.”