Environment Secretary visits Nature Improvement Area

The Nature Improvement Areas are funded by Defra and therefore fall within Mr Paterson’s ministerial remit, so the visits were particularly pertinent to his national work as well as being in his constituency. 

Mr Paterson looked at the work the project has been doing at White Mere to improve water quality and alleviate road run off from the A528 before heading to a farm near Crosemere where he was able to see the work the project is doing with farmers to improve water quality around the farm including to reduce the impact of septic tanks. Tom Hayek, Programme Manager for the scheme said

“As both local MP for the largest part of our project area and Secretary of State covering the department that implemented Nature Improvement Areas, being able to show Mr Paterson around some of the sites we have been working on allowed us to showcase our work both in the local and national context”.

The visit also looked at a Liverpool John Moores University PhD being funded by the Meres & Mosses Nature Improvement Area project where postgraduate student Wendy O’Neill is looking at how different features in the landscape (such as hedges and grass strips) affect the flow of water and reduce pollution from nutrients and pesticides.

Owen Paterson visiting the Meres and Mosses

In the photo with Mr Paterson are:

Mark and Pam Edwards (farmers of the land visited), Matt Jones (RSPB) and Wendy O’Neill (Liverpool John Moores University PhD student).


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The area of Fenn's, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses combined is the third largest area of raised peat bog in Britain. On average, 1 hectare of peatland can store 10 times more carbon than 1 hectare of woodland


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