The Black Brook Corridor is rich in heritage and biodiversity value. One of its main features is the first canal to be built in England; the St Helens (or Sankey) Canal. The canal opened in 1757 to link the port of Liverpool with coal mines in St Helens. It subsequently brought about the growth and development of St Helens.
Stanley Bank Meadow, also in the Black Brook Corridor, is a species-rich grassland and is the only Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in St Helens.
St Helens Council has developed Black Brook as a heritage and education destination. The corridor needed a management plan as a legacy of the Council’s prior investment; to aid future decision-making and enable continued funding and political support.
TEP worked closely with the Council’s Environmental Planning, the Ranger Service, the Environment Agency, Natural England and local community. TEP used the Spaceshaper Consultation Toolkit, devised by CABE and now managed by the Landscape Institute.
The final management plan provides bespoke solutions that maintain the recent positive changes to the Black Brook corridor, sustaining industrial heritage, ecological diversity and landscape character.
The Project was Highly Commended in the Landscape Institute 2013 awards. The judges commented: “The plan expertly identifies and articulates a wide range of interlinked aims. It brings together all relevant information and combines this with a sound approach to public consultation and engagement”.