BMX and nature park plans are hit by delays

Plans for a nature garden in Lostock Hall
Plans for a nature garden in Lostock Hall
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Ambitious plans for a nature garden and cycle track in South Ribble have hit further delays.

The Lostock Hall Engine Sheds, near the railway station on Watkin Lane have been earmarked for a major regeneration scheme including a wildlife garden and cycle track.

However, there are still some issues over funding for the project.

Coun Phil Smith, South Ribble Borough Council cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration, leisure and healthy communities, said: “We are still keen to press ahead with this very worthwhile project which will transform some derelict land into a wonderful asset for local residents, including a community garden, a wildlife area, a natural play area for children and a woodland walk.

“We’ve completed all the necessary studies for the site, such as the potential ecological impact of the project, and consulted with local residents to find out what they’d like on the site.

“The project is one of the priorities for the Central My Neighbourhood Forum and we have set aside £25,000 towards the work.

“Lancashire County Council has also agreed to contribute £6,000 but unfortunately there has been a delay because we are still working with partners to try to put together a funding package for the overall scheme.

“It’s disappointing we haven’t been able to progress the project sooner than we’d hoped, but we are still committed to it and I can assure residents the scheme will go ahead once we have all the funding in place.”

It is a scheme between the Christian Calvary Fellowship, which owns the site, South Ribble Council and Lancashire County Council.

The group wants to create a small wetland area alongside grassland and hedgerows: make observation points in fencing for the public, and make a children’s ‘Wildspace’ area, with grassy mounds willow screens, turf mazes and tree trunks.

The scheme will also include a natural play area for children, featuring labrinth, willow tunnels and a giant spider structure.

Meanwhile the cycle track has been created by the council’s regeneration team as well as ex-World champion Shaun Calvert.

It is aimed at BMX riders, plans include speed jumps and seating.