BURY residents are being urged to give their views on the news that further parts of the West Pennine Moors could be given Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) status.

People have until March 17 to voice their opinions and concerns before Natural England will then decide whether to confirm or withdraw the notification.

Confirmation of the notification would recognise the moors as an area of national importance due to its diverse mosaic of upland habitats with large expanses of blanket bog, heathland, flushes and mire grasslands, species rich grasslands and woodland. The SSSI also provides habitat for nationally rare and scarce plants like starry lady’s mantle, large-toothed lady’s mantle and floating water plantain.

If the declaration goes ahead it would be a big step forward in protecting large areas of the West Pennine Moors from fracking.

Natural England says it hopes the notification will act as a catalyst for everyone with an interest in the West Pennines to work together to maximise the landscape’s potential.

The group says it would like to ensure that it is managed in a way that safeguards its national scientific importance.

Views on the SSSI can be submitted at https://consult.defra.gov.uk/natural-england/west-pennine/moors/ or you can e-mail westpenninemoors@naturalengland.org.uk