MP highlights bird refuge

Mud dipping on the Ribble Estuary with the RSPB
Mud dipping on the Ribble Estuary with the RSPB
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A Fylde coast MP has highlighted in Parliament the importance of one of the UK’s biggest wildlife areas.

Mark Menzies questioned the environment minister how the Government is supporting the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in the Ribble Estuary, during a session in the House of Commons.

The mudflats along the river as it pours out into the Irish Sea is home to a wide variety of wildlife and Mr Menzies said it was vital the next generation were aware of Fylde’s bird population, so the estuary was protected for the future.

He asked the minister Rory Stewart what he was doing to foster a connection with wildlife and said: “The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has a very important visitor centre at Fairhaven Lake in my constituency. The Ribble estuary, one of the most important estuaries anywhere in the UK, attracts about 270,000 birds per year.”

Rory Stewart replied: “The Environment Agency and Natural England are working very closely with the RSPB in the Ribble estuary.

“Connecting children to nature is absolutely essential. The key is to ensure that children not only access nature, but understand it and respond to it.”

Annabel Rushton, from the RSPB, said: “We’re really thankful for MP Mark Menzies support and interest in the importance of connecting children with nature.

“The lakeside location of the RSPB Ribble Discovery Centre, just a few minutes’ walk from the mud, saltmarsh and sand dunes of the mighty Ribble, makes the perfect base for young people to explore the natural world.

“The centre, which the RSPB run in partnership with Fylde Council, offers a hands-on and fun learning experience. Alongside mini beast hunting, bird watching and other exciting activities, mud dipping is unique at the site and offers young people the opportunity to uncover the secrets of the Ribble Estuary mud and the creatures that call it home.”