There are two options for field trips on Thursday 28th June.
City Forest Park
This full day excursion will visit City Forest Park in Salford, an impressive urban park similar in size to Central Park in New York and one of the most important sites in Greater Manchester for nature conservation and restoration. Participants will learn about how a former industrial landscape has been reclaimed and transformed into a valuable resource for people and nature. During the trip we will explore a variety of habitats including ancient woodland, reclaimed woodland, heathland, wetland, and wildflower meadows. We will learn about the future vision of the area to connect the city to the country. The trip will also include a short foraging walk. A buffet lunch is included.
Meeting at 09:30 at St Peter's Square Metrolink Station
Returning to Manchester Piccadilly in time for 17:00 trains, option to return earlier by taxi.
This is a half day excursion to Lindow Moss, once a very extensive lowland raised mire, fringed by heathland. During the trip participants will observe the challenge of maintaining this small lowland heath (SSSI and Local Nature Reserve). We will walk down onto the former mire observing alder carr and linear fields (known as 'moss rooms'). We will visit the findspot of Lindow Man, one of the very few sites in Europe where the location of a bog body is precisely known. We will also discuss the complex planning issues associated with commercial peat working and the potential conflicts between restoration to 'primary habitat' and the need to respect and interpret landscape history and 'sense of place' in what is, essentially, a potent cultural landscape. A pub lunch is included.
Meeting at 09.00 at Manchester Piccadilly Station (under train time departure board).
Finishing at 13.00 in time for 14.00 trains from Manchester train stations, or optional walk for later finish, returning for 17:00 trains.
Post-conference excursion (not included in conference fee)
A walk along the limestone coastline from Grange to Allithwaite with Bob Bunce
Past ialeUK president Bob Bunce has organised a walk from Grange over Sands on the Friday morning, ending with a pub lunch in Allithwaite. All are welcome to come along. You’ll need to book your own travel and accommodation. Many are staying in the Nehtherwood hotel on Thursday 29 June.
Until 25 years ago Grange had only fragments of salt marsh with much mud and active channels. Then a patch of Spartina suddenly expanded to te extent that Grange is now effectively beside coastal grassland and salt marsh. We will discuss the issues involved (e.g. why did Spartina suddenly become aggressive?) before walking along the coast to Kents Bank. We will then follow the embankment of the railway to a small limestone headland admiring species such as Silene maritima. The entire former brackish water bay is now salt marsh grazed by sheep. We will walk along the Cumbria coastal path to Wyke Farm where we will talk to the farmer. If we have time we will visit the nature reserve of Humphrey Head, otherwise we will walk across the fields and have lunch in the Pheasant Inn at the bottom of Allithwaite.
The walk will start from the promenade in front of Grange station at 09:00
After lunch, we will walk back to Kents Bank station-about half an hour, to catch the trains home (from 3pm).
Please email the conference organisers if you are planning to attend.