Hi Ali here, today I’m talking about our new summer project, Wigan Wildlife Watch.
This is a 2 part project for 2021 with our first part being a short film, made by people of Wigan to celebrate our local wildlife in the borough.
We aim to release the final video this Summer 2021, with submissions collected by the end of May.
We’re looking for videos of what you have spotted when out and about.
What do you see at our nature reserves, woodlands, fields, or at home?
The only rule on location is that it’s within Wigan borough, and you are a sensible distance from the animals; please do not disturb them.
To join in, you don’t need fancy equipment; many smartphones have a good quality camera, but please check it’s in HD and film in landscape, not portrait.
The range of animals we have here is fantastic, and we would love you to send us videos of what swims, flies, hops, runs, and crawls from the big to the very very tiny.
The only rule for choosing animals is that they are wild ones. As much as I love seeing pets, this isn’t for them (sorry)
We need your help to cover as many species and environments of Wigan as possible to show what we have here. What once was a mining town observed by George Orrell in ‘Road to Wigan Pier’ has gradually been rewilded over the years into really effective spaces for wildlife to thrive.
Where to film?
Here are a few ideas for public spaces you may want to film
Leeds and Liverpool canal – Now is an excellent time as baby birds have their first public appearance.
Haigh Hall If you listen carefully during the mornings of early summer, you will hear Spotted Woodpeckers nests chirping into life. I’ve spent ages following their sounds and watching from afar. I also have, although only once, spotted a Green Woodpecker.
To find them out and about, look out for dead trees with holes in and listen to their famous pecking sound.
Also, around Haigh Hall, you may find the odd fox. I know I’ve found lots over the years, especially near the River Douglas Dam, and I’ve even seen and heard the fox cubs come out to play in the evenings.
Lady Mabel Wood – Has newts!
Three Sisters – This old colliery site is now a local nature reserve. It’s an excellent area for Bat watching (as well as for fish and birds). In this area alone, you can find a massive variety of bats, some of which are rare. If you’re lucky enough to get footage of them, please let us know ASAP. I love to see how they’re doing.
Then there are plenty more including Worthington Reservoir, Orrell Reservoir, Hic-bibi Brook, Wigan Flashes, and Amberswood Common in Ince.
Obviously, there are many, many more as we expand onto Mesnes Park, Borsdane Woods, Low Hall Local Nature Reserve, Pennington Flash is also a beautiful local nature reserve with over 230 species of birds recorded there. Our borough is huge and plentiful.
Your garden – Your house might already be a haven for wildlife. There are all kinds of birds that visit our homes, from the common to rarer ones including Swifts. Or if you have a great wildlife pond with regular frog visitors. Or a fantastic butterfly attracting bush, sometimes you needn’t go far.
Let us know if I’ve missed one of your favourites. We welcome footage from hobbyists and professionals alike – anyone with a passion for wildlife! This includes schools, homes, businesses, cemeteries.
Why we're doing it
We need to show everyone the wide variety we have, as some people still think we don’t have anything in this borough worth protecting.
And sadly, the more people who believe that the more greenspace we will lose.
Give it a Grow Wigan is a startup non-profit community group, so this opportunity is unpaid, but we will credit you within the video. You can read more about what we do on this website!
So please either join in with us or share this opportunity across the borough.