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Nature supreme in Clifton Kingfisher Trail festival

Hundreds of people turned out for the Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Kingfisher Trail Festival at Clifton Country Park on Saturday.

The family funday was to promote the 14-mile Kingfisher Trail between Salford and Bolton, which is a walk along a trail full of wildlife and industrial history.

The Kingfisher Trail connects the rural West Pennine Moors to Bolton, Bury and Salford.

The iconic bird can be spotted on riverbanks or streams, often sitting quietly on low-hanging branches over the water, suddenly diving in to catch a small fish.

Its electric-blue back and copper front make it unmistakable.

Kingfisher by Peter Hunter

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has been working to raise awareness of the natural and man-made features along the Croal-Irwell Valley.

Experts in local wildlife worked alongside canal groups, geologists, anglers, model boat enthusiasts and arts groups to tell the story of the creatures taking advantage of the habitats along the 14-mile route.


Stephen Cartwright from the Lancashire Wildlife Trust helped to organise the festival.

He said: “This was the second celebration of the Kingfisher Trail and it is a big thank you really to all the groups involved and, in particular, volunteers from every organisation who have created this wonderful trail in the Croal and Irwell valleys.

“The legend is that the kingfisher was a dull-coloured bird which flew off Noah’s Ark and absorbed the blue of the sky and orange of the sun.

“You could say that after the main industries left the valley the kingfishers started to splash colour here and wildlife returned en masse.”

“This trail is full of wildlife and history and it helps to tell the story of how the area was vitally important during the Industrial Revolution and now it is important for wildlife.”

Reresentatives from the Lancashire Wildife Trust’s Croal Irwell group, Lancashire Mammall Group and Bolton and Bury Swifts joined magnificent music from local folk acts.

Alex Bateson also brought her exotic beasties for people to meet and Bolton Mountain Rescue team turned up in force to discuss their amazing work.

The route provides a recreational resource which has the potential to be regionally important for people, wildlife and heritage in Salford.

Main: Alby Rowe creates an insect box at the Kingfisher Trail festival

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.