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The GREAT Project

What is the GREAT project?

The objective of the GREAT project (Goit River Environment Action Team) is to create a bio-diverse wildlife environment in the midst of the villages of Withnell and Brinscall by returning the Goit waterway to nature after being covered for 100Yrs. The Goit runs under a 1500M culvert, entering from the Abbey Village side of Norcross Brow, alongside the green railings on Railway Road, under the bridge on Quarry Road and from behind Brinscall Baths to emerge in Brinscall Woods at the end of Lodge Bank. The Goit was covered in 1907 to protect against pollution from surrounding industries, particularly from the quarry. We believe that pollution is no longer a significant issue. The GREAT project will remove an eyesore of the railings that blight our otherwise picturesque villages and later the sewage works on Lodge Bank to reveal a hidden gem that will attract a range of flora and fauna. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to envisage the numerous possibilities and benefits for villagers and visitors to the West Pennine Moors.

How did it come about?

A group of villagers decided that some effort should be put into achieving the objective that had been discussed for too many years. In early 2005, they informally consulted a wide representative group of villagers (including residents of Railway Road) and received encouraging support. The Parish Council was equally supportive and following their advice, the team has made initial soundings directly or indirectly with the many interested parties, Lancashire County Council, Chorley Borough Council, The Groundwork Trust, Action Douglas and Yarrow, and The Environmental Agency. Most importantly, meetings have taken place with senior staff at United Utilities plc, which owns the land and manage the Goit, an important link in the public water supply from Roddlesworth to Rivington Reservoirs.

What is the next step?

The priority element is the replacement of the metal railings along Railway Road. These have shown further deterioration over the last seven years, even though United Utilities insist that these are being adequately maintained and are good for another ten years, at least. What do you think?
To progress this UU have challenged GREAT to demonstrate that there is continued support from  the Parish for this specific measure (80% of you supported the original concept in the Parish Plan) and also that this is reinforced with a capacity to raise money (an  important element of potential match funding between the community – United Utilities – other funding sources.)

To this end GREAT wish to introduce a ‘pledge’ scheme open to every household, business and other supporters in the parish and beyond to pledge an affordable sum of money towards the removal/replacement of the railings.
Though no money is being collected at this time it is purely to demonstrate that there is community support. You can do this online Click HERE

What is the role of GREAT?

Many residents have given their time and effort to achieve our project objectives, more will be required. GREAT is a  properly constituted group that can make grant applications and manage projects through to completion, including ensuring sustainability to leave a lasting legacy for the community. It is envisaged that it will be a multistage project and the team will require a number of professional skills. We propose to work with United Utilities to obtain funding for further improvements. At each stage there will be opportunities for the community to voice its opinion and contribute to our objectives . The original drawings and sketches of our plans can be found in the Maps and Images

Schools Involvement

St John's and St Joseph's Primary Schools have undertaken projects on the Goit. St John's work is included below.





then now maybe thoughts

In 2012 with further funding from the Lancashire County Council Green Partnership Fund the group assisted by children from St. John’s School and the Nature Trail Nursery were finally able to complete planting of wild flowers, bulbs and setting bird boxes in the woods by the new path adjacent to the Brinscall Lodge and for the first time pre-school children from the Nature Trail Nursery recently established in the village.

What are the risks?

Questions of health and safety will be addressed.. We understand concerns expressed by a few villagers and we believe that they will be fully satisfied by careful planning, The concerns you have expressed over safety of pedestrians and welfare of animals is understood, Egually on the issue of flooding, this would not to be an issue since all surface water drains from the villages do not run into the Goit. They flow to the sewage treatment plant in Chorley alongside and separately from their main drains. The flow of water from the reservoir in Abbey Village through the Goit, and the level of Brinscall Lodge, is controlled by United Utilities..
GREAT Committee: Sandra Grime(Chair), Robin Bamford (Vice Chair), David Akhurst (Treasurer), John Finlay(Secretary), Barry Richardson,   David Taylor, Paul Wheatley, Ian Wilkinson, Dawn O’Dea, Janet Lawson, David and Janet Beebe, Sarah Finlay

"I urge you to help GREAT improve the environment of our villages. I have been walking the countryside around us ever since I joined the GP Practice in the village in 1965 and have continued to do so since retirement. I am delighted to support  the GREAT campaign and urge all who live in the Parish to give us your support. Please add your family to our supporters club by completing the Parish Pledge below. We will keep you posted on developments.

Dr. Alec Brade, Chair GREAT: (2005-2012)



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