There have been many reports of how nature and wildlife has been thriving during lockdown – an unexpected benefit of the difficult times we’re all living through – and it’s been great to see many more people taking advantage of the nature areas at Protos.

Over 50 hectares of land is dedicated to nature at Protos, where over 2,600 trees have already been planted. We have two purpose-built habitats - Snipe Haven and Goldfinch Meadows - which are home to an array of flowers, butterflies and birds. Large constructed ponds and scrapes with wetland fringes give the perfect environment for water dwelling wildlife.

Local people can explore Goldfinch Meadows on their own or follow one of the walking routes. Snipe Haven is an extensive area entirely dedicated to nature, with habitats created particularly for water voles and wading birds. To help protect these species, Snipe Haven is not open to the public.

We have been working with Cheshire Wildlife Trust to manage the nature areas which are thriving. There are a variety of birds and ducks currently making Protos their home. If you visit Goldfinch Meadows you may be able to see a pair of Shelducks, some Mallards with their young or hear the call of the Cetti warbler. We’ve also spotted some really important species, including tree sparrows which have been in decline since the 1970s and a rare wading bird the black tailed godwit – both of which are on the red list of birds of conservation concern. If you’re lucky you might even spot the illusive water rail, a secretive wetland inhabitant with a long red bill.

In Snipe Haven we’re getting ready to sow two acres of wild bird seed mix into the cropped field, which will see mustard, sunflowers, barley, millet and phacelia plants bear seed in the winter months. It will act as a giant bird table and hopefully help to bridge the period known as the ‘hungry gap’ between January and March for farmland bird species.

As lockdown eases and people are able to spend more time outdoors, we’d love you to come and explore Goldfinch Meadows at Protos. Please remember to follow social distancing rules as per the Government’s advice on Coronavirus and do not visit if you or any other member of your household is feeling unwell.

Please also take your rubbish with you to help protect the area and keep it clean and tidy. We’ve had some issues of rubbish being left and fly-tipping so we’re reminding everyone to treat the areas with respect. They are for everyone to enjoy so please look after them so they continue to flourish.

You can download the nature areas map here.