The Long Preston Floodplain Project was launched in 2004 with the aim of improving the wildlife value of the Ribble floodplain between Settle, Long Preston and Wigglesworth. The project area covers 765 ha (1890 acres or 3 miles2).
Long Preston Floodplain Project Trail
Download our map which shows two walks in the area and the locations of the 6 Long Preston interpretations boards.
Lying between the Yorkshire Dales and the Forest of Bowland, the floodplain is a unique area which offers a very different experience from the surrounding upland areas. It is an ancient landscape with a rich history mainly because the floodplain has provided food and shelter for humans for thousands of years. It still floods today, providing habitats for many specialist species of flora and fauna including the nationally rare northern spike-rush Eleocharis austriaca.
The project area has a rich and fascinating story to tell about the landscape, history, farming past and present and wildlife. Part of the floodplain is a nationally important Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of its rare fluvial (river) environment and importance for breeding wading bird species and rare flora.
Key aims of the project are to restore wetland habitats, to boost populations of existing wetland wildlife and to attract back species that have been lost.
Environmental Stewardship Scheme
Around 90% of the Long Preston Floodplain Project area is managed under Natural England’s Environmental Stewardship Scheme. This is a voluntary government scheme open to all farmers and landowners, where they are financially rewarded for good stewardship of the land. The scheme is split in to two layers, Entry Level (ELS) and Higher Level (HLS). ELS delivers simple and effective environmental management across the whole farm and HLS builds upon this, targeting more complex habitats, with more detailed management requirements.’