Peel Bank Works Reserve 1.5 acres Grid Ref: SD745293
This was the first site acquired by the Trust in 1989. It surrounds the manufacturing and office premises of an established engineering company. It has been landscaped in a natural manner, planted with native British trees, shrubs and wild flowers. The area includes a short canal arm off the Leeds Liverpool canal, and an area of established trees along the bypass perimeter.
The purpose of the site is to bring the natural landscape into an urban environment for the enjoyment and interest of employees of the company and provide sanctuary for wildlife. The area supports a diverse range of flora and fauna, including the scarce Snake's Head Fritillary, daffodils, bluebells, and common orchid. Pike are seen in the canal as well as kingfishers and regularly nesting swans.
The quotation on the Foundation Stone is from the longest major poem, 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It tells the tale of a sailor returning from a long sea voyage and the unfortunate events that occurred following the shooting of an albatross by a mariner. It relates to the fickle nature of Man and his misunderstanding of the complexities of Nature and his place within it. Exploring the violation of Nature and the resulting psychological effects on the mariner; who as a penance and driven by guilt for shooting the bird, wanders the earth telling the story over and over again and teaching everyone he meets the lesson he has learnt. This seems an apt quotation amidst these natural surrounds, as the founding purpose of the Trust was to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing from these premises and respect the value of the natural world.
This reserve is independent of the engineering company neighbouring the site.
From the Leeds Liverpool canal. It once serviced Church Bank Print Works which was on this site. A great diversity of wildlife an flora is supported here
Swans regularly nest on the canal arm
Naturally occurring orchid favours ground that has not been contaminated with herbicides and pesticides
Hedgehogs have been seen on the site
The large diversity of indigenous flowers and grasses which emerged from the earth when the old car park was removed.