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View over the proposed site in the Countess of Chester Country Park for the Chester Wetland Centre from Knolls Bridge.

The planned wetland will be located within the Countess of Chester Country Park, on the outskirts of the city, and provide a haven for wildlife and an opportunity for people to connect with nature. It will also serve as a flood mitigation measure, reducing the potential impact of flooding around Chester.

The Chester Wetland Centre is being planned by wetland scientist Dr Christian Dunn and Andy Scargill, Chair of the Park’s Friends Group. The University of Chester and Bangor University are amongst a large group of organisations and individuals supporting the project, which plans to develop a rare wet meadow habitat.

On Wednesday, January 22, a talk will take place on the University’s Parkgate Road Campus which will focus on the next stages of how to develop the Wetland Centre, and include its role in enhancing biodiversity, and the creation of rare wetland meadows. There will be the opportunity to discuss potential research projects being carried out, the use of the Park for student projects and fieldwork opportunities, volunteering and the value of the Park in supporting and enhancing our wellbeing.

Dr Servel Miller, Associate Professor of Natural Hazard Management, in the University of Chester’s Department of Geography and International Development said: “I am very proud that the University is involved in the development of the Chester Wetland Centre. The wetlands can prevent flooding, and even help to mitigate human impacts on climate, so projects such as these are integral in reducing the impact of future flooding events on local communities.”

Andy Scargill, Chair of the Friends of the Countess of Chester Country Park, said: “We’re now at the start of the process of raising the money to make the Chester Wetland Centre a reality.

“There’s plenty of work to be done and hurdles to jump, but it’s a really exciting project for the park.”

Dr Christian Dunn, Senior Lecturer in the School of Natural Sciences at Bangor University, who lives in Chester, said: “Nearly 90% of our wetlands have disappeared since the Industrial Revolution, yet they are amongst our most biodiverse areas.

“We’re at the very start of the process but the Chester Wetland Centre aims to bring back one of the rarest types of wetlands to the city - and with it all the benefits this brings, such as more wildlife, flood prevention, and carbon storage.”

Bringing together biodiversity and flood mitigation’ takes place on Wednesday, January 22, at the University’s Parkgate Road Campus, in Best Building 115. The event starts at 7.30pm. To sign up for the free event, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bringing-biodiversity-and-flood-mitigation-together-chester-wetland-centre-tickets-89292037889

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