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Gib Hill – mowing meadows to protect and improve natural diversity

Published: Thursday, 11th August 2022

Cllr. Nadeem Ahmed

Some meadows at Gib Hill above Colne and Nelson, will be mown this month to protect and improve biodiversity.

Gib Hill is an area which Pendle councillors have identified to become a Local Nature Reserve.

Lancashire Wildlife Trust is working with Pendle Borough Council to cut the meadow grass in some parts of the hill to improve its ecology.

Councillor Nadeem Ahmed said: “Gib Hill is important as a natural habitat and is valued by local people, as the green lungs between Nelson and Colne.

“Last year, we agreed to John Lamb, Senior Conservation Officer of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, doing a detailed ecology survey of the hill at different seasons.

“He confirmed that several of the meadows are of Biological Heritage Status and these meadows should improve further by being mowed this summer."

John Lamb explained: "Biological Heritage Sites are the second most important areas for wildlife in Lancashire, behind the nationally important Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

“Gib Hill has species-rich meadows, which have declined by over 95% since WWII and are now scarce in the UK.

“Along with its ancient hedgerows, the Hill is a refuge for rare and threatened plants and animals.”

“Wildflower meadows like Gib Hill should be mowed each year to allow a range of species to flourish such as flowers that attract butterflies and to reduce the taller and more competitive grasses and other species.

“A number of other meadows on the Hill fall short of being Biological Heritage Sites, but qualify as sites of Local Natural Importance in Pendle.

“By being cut for hay the range of wildflowers should increase over time and they may reach Biological Heritage Site quality in the future.

“I look forward to working with the Council and local people to see Gib Hill designated as a Local Nature Reserve, which will give it national recognition as a place that people can go to see and enjoy wildlife."

Other work recently carried out on Gib Hill includes a new bridge on a right of way, which has been put in place by the Council’s Green Spaces Manager, Phil Riley, with help from community volunteers.

Councillor Ash Sutcliffe, Chairman of the Gib Hill Working Group, added: “We’d like to thank everyone who took part in building the bridge and to all local volunteers who help protect and improve Pendle’s green spaces.”

Anyone who’d like to volunteer some of their time for future projects should email: