Surrounding Woodlands and Meadows
The surrounding woodlands and meadowlands are important habitats, covering not only Big Water but also the surrounding woodlands and habitats. Most notably Old Wood, a stunning woodland to the south of Big Water.
As part of this phase, it is the intention to not only invest in these important havens for wildlife and maximise their biodiversity value but also to ensure that the local community of Whiston and Knowsley are able to safely explore and interact with this historic and natural landscape.
A new viewing platform will provide some impressive views across Big Water Lake and the network of footpaths and shared-use paths will connect the lake to the surrounding green spaces. A new weir to control the flow of water into Old Wood will be installed beneath the viewing platform.
New seating and interpretation signage will also be added at this point and throughout the site.
The existing woodland will be enhanced through new management techniques, installing new footpaths and cycle routes. Wildflower meadows are proposed which will have a range of species to encourage wildlife, along with the planting of new native semi-mature trees.
New bonded gravel footpaths will provide pedestrian routes through the woodland, with Long Lake re-established and historic viewpoints reinstated.
Old Wood will be opened for the public to enjoy with a range of new pathways and seating areas. The open water channel, locally referred to as Long Lake will be cleared & desilted with new planting to improve biodiversity in this area. This part of the site will also include off-road links via the Bloor development to Stadt Moers Park and the Country Park to the south of the M62 via a new cycleway being created on the former mineral rail line.
These upgrades will be made between 2022 and 2025 in line with the housing development programme for Halsnead Garden Village.