Cash boost to restore lodge to former glory

David Hewitt right, with Cara Reece of The Environment Bank
David Hewitt right, with Cara Reece of The Environment Bank

A neglected lodge in Clitheroe has received a cash boost from a ground-breaking environmental credit scheme.

Clitheroe’s man-made reservoir, Primrose Lodge, was registered with The Environment Bank in the North West’s first ‘biodiversity offsetting’ scheme two years ago.

Biodiversity offsetting allows developers to purchase conservation credits from The Environment Bank, which are used to fund the creation and management of conservation sites. The cash boost will kick-start a scheme to restore the neglected lodge to its former glory.

Conservation credits measure a site’s biodiversity value based on factors such as the presence of habitats for flora and fauna. Each credit is awarded a monetary value, which can be purchased by developers to pay for the creation and enhancement of “receptor sites”, such as Primrose Lodge.

Ribble Valley Borough Council’s countryside officer, David Hewitt, said: “Biodiversity offsetting is a dynamic initiative allowing the pooling of credits for the renovation of bigger and more strategically placed sites, such as Primrose Lodge. Registering Primrose Lodge as a receptor site has raised funds to help create a local nature reserve that will be an important resource for local people.

“We are delighted to have taken part in this Environment Bank pilot scheme, which is the first in the North West.”

Primrose Lodge is a man-made reservoir built for manufacturing processing and the generation of power for factories at Clitheroe’s Primrose works. It is already a Lancashire biological heritage site and the council is consulting with the Lancashire Wildlife Trust on how the site might be transformed into a nature reserve.