Tawd Tidings

Did you hear about the conversation with a Miner about the effects it had on the environment?
It got rocky.

Wow! First of all, let us apologise to you all for the late blog blast from us. We’ve been super busy, but we can’t wait to get stuck in with you as we tell you all about the goings on down in the Tawd Valley Park.

Let us first journey back to the end of last month were we find the intrepid Team Tawd and Ranger Chris hard at work strimming along the brick pathway and cleared a fallen tree. Most of the parks paths would be impassable without this tremendous troop.

We joined in helping West Lancashire Borough Council Parks & Countryside Ranger Service with their Junior Rangers Club – Mini-beasts Safari down in Tawd Valley Park at the beginning of August. The children had an absolute blast and loved every second of it.

While this event was ongoing, in another section of the park Team Tawd did an epic session of litter-picking. We are constantly battling the litter blight that plagues our green spaces.

As August is moving just as fast as it came, we will keep the same momentum and continue with our news stories. Up next…

We found some exciting underwater beasties in our river Tawd riverfly survey around a week ago. We spotted small fish called stone loach when lifting rocks, but just couldn’t get them in the net. The results showed that things haven’t changed much since our last riverfly survey. This however can be a good sign, as it shows that the water quality of the river is remaining at a constant balance and hasn’t reduced in quality. It’ll take time for the positive effects of the weirs removal to show in the upper stretches of the Tawd.

Are you looking for something to do with the little ones over the summer holidays? Would you like to join us as we search the watery depths of your local river to see what beasties you can find? Then you’re in luck – We’re hosting a community riverfly survey day on Saturday 26th August. Check out the “What’s On” page for more info.

Our very own Dave Gibson (wildlife enthusiast and future BBC SpringWatch photographer) led members of Skelmersdale U3A society on a guided walk through Tawd Valley Park the other day. Setting off at the library, the group travelled the full length of the park to where the weir used to be and back, they saw artist Paul Curtis working away on the bridge mural. Along the way potential wildlife hot spots were pointed out and historical images were shared (provided by Barry Carr, Skem Heritage Society) of cottages, mills and the colliery that used to stand in the valley. It was a sterling effort from the group, considering the heat, but the walk was thoroughly enjoyed by all as they utilised the plentiful areas of shade that the park has to offer. They were very appreciative that FoTV had collaborated with them for this event.

Check out the new Cobbs Clough Road culvert head mural!!!

West Lancashire Park & Countryside Ranger Service wrote on Facebook: “What a perfect way to finish off the Cobb’s Clough Weir removal project.

The artwork symbolises the ability of native fish species (Brown Trout, Chub & Stone loach) to swim up the river Tawd now that the Weir is gone and the river bed has re-naturalised.

Massive thanks to Ribble Rivers Trust Friends of Tawd Valley and Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire, Merseyside. Without whom this project wouldn’t have been possible. River Douglas Catchment Project Team work makes the dream work 🐟 Mural courtesy of Paul Curtis Artwork

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Good job, Rangers.

Only a few days ago, Team Tawd and Ranger Ben were out in the glorious weather taking down a large broken branch overhanging the path then re-installing the sign on the brick path. They then went and measured up at the new steps for the handrails then finally headed over to where the weir was to measure up for repairs to the fence. A good mornings work, well done everyone.


WLBC Ranger Service wrote: “I think it’s safe to say that the 2023 Tawd Valley Park Bioblitz has been a success!

In just 24hrs we have identified 437* different species within the park and this is set to rise once we received data back from some of our experts. We have also logged nearly 1200 ‘observations’* for the site which helps to build a fantastic picture of the ecosystems here.

A huge thanks to all volunteers, experts and partner organisations. We could not have done it without you and your commitment to conservation is truly remarkable.

If you wanted to check out the species we found, please have a look at our iNaturalist project page – Bioblitz 2023: Tawd Valley Park.”

*At the time of writing, observations were at 1,440 and species had moved up to 470. Results will undoubtedly increase as we update the reports and records of the bio-blitz attendees who never used iNaturalist to record their weekends results. (Images courtesy of WLBC Rangers Service)

Lets wrap this awesome update blog up with todays Tawd Valley Park activities –

Despite the torrential rain today Team Tawd and Ranger Ben were joined by 7 volunteers from the Jaguar Landrover Halewood factory to carry out some important work in the valley. Firstly, sturdy handrails were fitted to the new steps adjacent to the Houghtons Road bridge. Then after a brief break everyone headed along the river to where the new mural is. The vandalised fence was repaired and 2 rustic benches were installed nearby. This will be a serene spot for locals and visitors alike to pause and appreciate the surroundings.

Many thanks to everyone involved today especially Ste Meadows whose efforts paved the way for the invaluable assistance from the JLR volunteers. Fantastic work, well done everybody.

I think you can all agree that that was one BIG update. What a terrifically fantastic effort from everyone involved at these events. The Tawd Valley Park wouldn’t be were it was today without all the hard from all our partners, supporters and volunteers. A big THANK YOU to you all.

Until next time…