Looking forward to a long-term collaboration …
Crosby’s Soroptimists are in partnership with the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside (LWT) in a long-term project at Lunt Meadows.
This is a recent wetland development adjacent to the River Alt. It is a nature reserve ‘with a difference’, as it includes one of the few surviving Mesolithic settlements. This dates from 7,000 years BCE. The nature reserve also doubles as a flood management tool. It was designed to store excess rain and river water, helping to protect homes and businesses in nearby urban areas from flooding.
SI Crosby members view this relationship in the long term. Members assisted with LWT’s in-person open events and publicity, and attended ‘lockdown’ online talks. All are designed to involve local residents in progress and to spread the word about the project.
Soroptimists took part in LWT’s wildflower seed trial and planted them out at Lunt Meadows. As volunteers, members have ‘enjoyed’ cold-weather walks to find out more about the reserve.
The club is also supporting the Wildlife Trust in applying for project grants to enhance visitor facilities. The initial project, a toilet, is ready. Thanks to the Soroptimists it is ‘twinned‘ with a girls’ toilet at a school in Malawi.
SI Crosby is a partner in the current major project – ‘Presenting Mesolithic and Modern Life, showcasing the past, present and future’. This is grant-aided through the National Heritage Lottery Fund. The key element is to build a visitor centre on the site. It would be a base for staff and volunteers, and function as a learning centre.
The centre would enable people to take part in a wide range of educational, social and skills-based activities, triggered by the archaeology and environment. Local children and adults – and groups disadvantaged through age, gender or other factors – will benefit. Crosby’s Soroptimists are involved with workshop development. Topics include prehistoric crafts and wet-sieving of residue from the site.
One Crosby Soroptimist is the volunteer independent chair to the Project Board. The board works with Wildlife Trust staff, partners and consultants to ensure effective reporting and timely progress.