Colliers Moss Common, Bold St. Helens (inc. Bold Moss)
Created on the spoil and waste heaps of Bold Colliery & Power Station
Colliers Moss Common, St. Helens
Created on Bold Colliery & Power Station’s spoil heaps
Colliers Moss Common
Created on Bold Colliery and Power Station’s spoil heaps
Colliers Moss Common in Bold
Colliers Moss Common, which features 130 hectares of developing and developed habitats, has been created on the spoil and waste heaps of Bold Colliery and Bold Power Station. The former ceased production in November 1985, with the latter closing in 1991. By this time Groundwork St Helens, Knowsley and Sefton had agreed to restore the site, with the reclamation work set to create an urban common rich in nature for the benefit of the local community.
In fact the closure of the colliery and power station has greatly increased the numbers of local residents. Most of the 1500 or so colliery workers had lived in NCB houses in Parr and many of the power station workers commuted to work from St.Helens. However the building of the New Bold Estate on the site of Bold Power Station, off Travers Entry, has housed large numbers of people in more than twenty streets. These all have floral names, such as Daffodil Gardens, Orchid Way, Begonia Gardens, Columbine Way etc.
The habitats that this new community now have on their doorsteps include wetlands (lagoons and streams), woodland, grassland and heathland. Appropriately with Orchid Way nearby, colonies of orchids have spread on the common and new species of wildlife are arriving each year. The remnants of mossland that border the site have been restored and areas of sphagnum moss are developing. The multi-use pathways provide good access for walkers, cyclists and horseriders, with a number of seating areas for visitors to take a break. Interestingly the gates on the site have a design inspired by the cooling towers of Bold Power Station.
Colliers Moss Common is managed by The Mersey Forest as part of the Bold Forest Park initiative and is widely used by local residents for dog walking, fishing and exercise. For those travelling to the site, a car park has been created using recycled materials. In August 2015 it was announced that the common was to receive a £111,000 biodiversity grant from environmental organisation WREN, which funds eligible projects under the Landfill Communities Fund. Consequently the Mersey Forest has begun a two-year programme of scrub clearance, reed cutting and water level management. The intention is to create a biodiversity hotspot that can support as many as seventeen species of dragonfly (including the emperor and blacktailed skimmer), as well as rare flora and fauna, plus bumble bees, lizards and water voles.
Then in December 2015 there was more good news with the announcement of a £50,000 grant from the Cory Environmental Trust, which would result in improved access to the common. This will pay for programme of thinning overgrowth, enhancing site entranceways and improving footpaths. The work is being carried out by Lancashire Wildlife Trust, who expect to have it completed by March 2016.
Colliers Moss Common extends to Bold Moss and at its Brookway Lane entrance, there is the above history of the site, which reads:
Welcome to Bold Moss - For thousands of years Bold Moss was a raised bog, a local wilderness. In 1955 Bold Colliery began to use the moss as a spoil tip. "Exerting its great weight, pressure like some giant hand caused the soft brown peat to roll and rise in great waves before succumbing to the unwielding burden of shale and rock." (Frank Bamber. Miner. 1955). By the time tipping stopped in 1973(?), a large artificial hill had been created. The Groundwork Trust acquired Bold Moss from British Coal in 1990. Working with local people, the trust is restoring the moss for people and nature. Thanks to all those who have contributed their work, friendship and ideas and especially to the Countryside Commission, St Helens MBC and to the European Union for their support. Enjoy your time on the moss. Please look after it! (1995)
Colliers Moss Events and Planned Activities 2017:
Wednesday March 29th 2017 - 1:30pm - Pastures and Evergreen Way Walk - Meet at the noticeboard on The Pastures at WA9 4ZB for a one hour health walk around Colliers Moss and Clock Face Country Park - View Poster - Download April / May 2017 Health Walks Brochure with details of all St.Helens walks April 2017 Date and venue TBC – Prof. John Handley Talk – A look at the early development of Colliers Moss by Groundwork’s first Executive Director Wednesday April 19th 2017 - 1:30pm - Pastures and Evergreen Way Walk - Meet at the noticeboard on The Pastures at WA9 4ZB for a one hour health walk around Colliers Moss and Clock Face Country Park - View Poster - Download April / May 2017 Health Walks Brochure with details of all St.Helens walks Saturday / Sunday May 6th / 7th 2017 – Spring Arrivals (birds mainly) by Tom Ferguson Wednesday May 24th 2017 - 1:30pm - Pastures and Evergreen Way Walk - Meet at the noticeboard on The Pastures at WA9 4ZB for a one hour health walk around Colliers Moss and Clock Face Country Park - View Poster - Download April / May 2017 Health Walks Brochure with details of all St.Helens walks Saturday / Sunday June 24th / 25th 2017 – Orchids and Other Flowers by Tom Ferguson Saturday / Sunday July 29th / 30th 2017 – Wild Flowers and Butterflies by Tom Ferguson August – Bat Walk by Paul Nolan (date and details to follow) Saturday / Sunday September 16th / 17th 2017 – Fungal Foray by Tom Ferguson Saturday October 21st – Warrington Running Club Cross Country Race – Website Sunday / Monday October 22nd / 23rd 2017 – Fungal Foray by Tom Ferguson
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This website has been written and researched and many images photographed by myself, Stephen Wainwright, the Sutton Beauty & Heritage site owner. Individuals from all over the world have also kindly contributed their own photographs. If you wish to reuse any image, please contact me first as permission may be needed from the copyright owner. High resolution versions of many pictures can also be supplied at no charge. Please also contact me if you can provide any further information or photographs concerning Sutton, St.Helens. You might also consider contributing your recollections of Sutton for the series of Memories pages. Sutton Beauty & Heritage strives for factual accuracy at all times. Do also get in touch if you believe that there are any errors. I respond quickly to emails and if you haven't had a response within twelve hours, check your junk mail folder or resend your message. Thank you! SRW