New project to celebrate woodland heritage of the South Pennines secures Lottery investment

Posted: 20.06.15

Pennine Prospects, the rural regeneration company for the South Pennines, has received initial support* from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Celebrating Our Woodland Heritage project. The project aims to investigate, record and celebrate the ‘hidden’ heritage of South Pennine woodlands. Development funding of £40,000 has been awarded as part of the initial support to help Pennine Prospects progress their plans to apply for a full grant later this year.
Woodland in the South Pennines is a scarce but very valuable heritage asset with only an estimated 4% woodland cover in the South Pennines but they remain under-recorded, under-appreciated and as a result under protected.
‘We want to work with partners and woodland owners who see the potential to inspire young people with our South Pennine woodland story but we simply just don’t know enough about our woodlands’ said Pam Warhurst CBE , Chair of Pennine Prospects.
The remains of woodland crafts and former industry remain buried deep in our woodland. Hywel Lewis, a member of Black Bark- a woodland co-operative working for the health of local woodlands has been selected to become a research scholar to discover more. Working with the University of Bradford School of Archaeological Sciences and with funding from the Heritage Consortium he was selected after a national competition. He explains why this is important
“Studying the history of woodland can help woodland managers. For example, if charcoal hearths are found in a wood, this would be a strong indication that those woods had been coppiced, which might influence a decision to reinstate coppice woodland today.”’.
If successful in applying for the full grant amount, the Heritage Lottery Fund investment will enable Pennine Prospects to employ a woodland heritage officer to carry out survey work of woodland with volunteers and use woodlands as the backdrop for active engagement in the natural environment using techniques pioneered in ‘forest schools’.

Hywel Lewis, a member of Black Bark woodland co-operative has been selected to become a research scholar to discover more about the hidden heritage of South Pennine woodlands. Here Hywel explains more at an event organised by Pennine Prospects, the rural regeneration company for the South Pennines.

Yorkshire Water United Utilities Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council National Farmers Union
South Pennines Association Lancashire County Council Pennine Heritage Kirklees Council Calderdale Council
Bradford District Council Northern Rail Natural England Environment Agency The National Trust