Gowy & Mersey Washlands Living Landscape

Cheshire Wildlife Trust is working with partner agencies and landowners to create a resilient network of wetland habitats such as wet grasslands, lowland meadows, reedbeds and wet woodlands that benefits wildlife, people and the economy.

By reducing the fragmentation of wetlands, key species such as lapwing, water vole, great crested newt and mud snail are thriving and dispersing. However, it is not only wildlife that is benefiting; wetlands can also clean water and they create space for floodwater, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change - protecting homes and businesses. Our work is bringing people closer to nature on their patch and drawing in visitors from across the region.

In partnership with:


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Our work in the Gowy and Mersey Washlands can be understood in three simple steps:

1. Connecting wildlife spaces – we are working with farmers to restore species-rich grasslands, plant new hedgerows and create wildlife corridors along the River Gowy. We are working with partners to secure long term positive management of salt marshes next to the Mersey and we have an extensive network of volunteers surveying and mapping how wildlife is responding to our efforts.

2. Wildlife havens – look out livestock at nine different special places for wildlife in the Gowy and Mersey Washlands. Longhorn and Dexter cows are plodding and chomping away on the Mersey’s marshes, the Gowy’s floodplains and lowland meadows, and Hebridean sheep are keeping rare flower-rich meadows free from trees.

3. People and wildlife – our walks, talks and events are enabling everyone who lives and works in the Gowy and Mersey Washlands a chance to experience the Living Landscape and understand why it matters. We are working with schools, community groups and volunteers to inspire them about the River Gowy and the Mersey’s wildlife

See the original Living Landscape Vision for the North West (2008).

Gowy Meadows Management Plan:

1. Management Plan (2010) Summary Document

2. Photos illustrating key features for management