History of the Ribble Coast and Wetlands Regional Park

The Ribble Estuary has long been recognised as a very special place. In 1997 a coastal partnership was established to try to integrate the management of this internationally important area within which a diverse range of activities were taking place. An estuary officer now works with a range of organisations, local businesses and the local communities to develop an appreciation of the estuary and encourage sustainable management. This initiative is called Action Ribble Estuary and is delivered through The Mersey Basin Campaign.

In 2000 RSPB, Environment Agency and English Nature (now Natural England), all members of the coastal partnership, began exploring the possibilities for habitat restoration for the Ribble Estuary as part of managed realignment of the coastal defences. It was anticipated that this project could be of international significance for conservation, assist public enjoyment, bring economic benefit and help to reduce some of the pressures of climate change that are expected to be particularly severe on the Ribble Shoreline.

It was suggested that the ideas being discussed were suitable as a basis for a new regional park, an initiative that was just beginning to emerge from regional government RSS and one that recognised that appropriate management of environmental assets could bring about economic and social benefits. The new regional park area was subsequently agreed encompassing the estuary and wetland areas further inland, along with areas of special environmental interest and places where people already visit to come face to face with nature.

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