New lease of life for Clitheroe mill lodge

David Hewitt right, with Cara Reece of The Environment Bank

David Hewitt right, with Cara Reece of The Environment Bank

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A NEGLECTED mill lodge in Clitheroe could receive a new lease of life thanks to a unique environmental credit scheme.

Clitheroe’s man-made reservoir, Primrose Lodge, has been registered with The Environment Bank in the North West’s first “biodiversity offsetting” scheme.

Biodiversity offsetting allows developers to purchase conservation credits from The Environment Bank, which are used to fund the creation and management of conservation sites. But it does not provide a license for developers to trash the environment and statutory planning conditions still apply for all development sites.

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 monitory 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 the potential to raise the capital to create a local nature reserve that will be an important resource for local people.

“We are delighted to be taking 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. The lodge is already a Lancashire biological heritage site and plans are afoot to have it designated Clitheroe’s third local nature reserve, the other two being at Salthill and Cross Hill.

Ribble Valley Borough Council has commissioned a management plan outlining how the site might be developed.