The River Ribble floodplain at Long Preston is of national importance because the flat valley bottom and river features supports unique wetland flora and fauna.


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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.

All routes are Public Rights of Way, please respect the marked paths and follow the countryside code.


Download Project Trail

Most of the upper Ribble's catchment area is based on limestone. This gives the water qualities that can support a unique range of aquatic plant species as well as dragonflies and otters. High water quality also allows a range of coarse fish species to breed here, which in turn support species such as otter. Because of its importance, the river and part of the floodplain are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). These are the country's best wildlife and geological sites and contain some of our most precious habitats.

Restoring Wet Grassland

sluiceOver the years farmers have actively drained the floodplain to allow more efficient farming of the land. This has resulted in a decline of the wet grassland habitat that supports specialist wetland species. It is possible to restore this wet grassland and improve conditions for breeding wading birds and other wildlife. This can be achieved through retaining shallow areas of water, particularly in Spring to mid Summer. These shallow pools of water provide ideal conditions for invertebrates which are the main food source for waders and their chicks.

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