THE RESTORATION of ‘the most important cluster of ancient woodlands in Warwickshire’ is a step closer thanks to a £117,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
The Princethorpe Woodlands Living Landscape project aims to restore the ancient wooded landscape – of hedgerows, grasslands, trees, and ponds – to one rich in wildlife and accessible to all.
The 618 hectare area has 20 woodlands and has been described as the most important cluster of ancient woodlands in Warwickshire.
But many of the woodlands and interconnecting habitats are unmanaged – reducing their value as a wildlife habitat and places to visit.
This initial grant means the area can be surveyed and communities consulted, which will help form a detailed plan which should allow the partnership to secure an additional £1million to deliver the project over four years.
The partnership led by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust (WWT) includes Warwick District Council and Warwickshire County Council, along with Butterfly Conservation, Coombe Country Park, Coventry City Council, Friends of Brandon Wood, and Rugby Borough Council.
Warwickshire Wildlife Trust Chief Executive Ed Green said: “This grant will allow us to work with our partners, communities and landowners to encourage people to get involved in the ancient woodlands and historical sites around them.
“The project will provide a range of training and learning opportunities for local people as well as many events and activities, reconnecting people with the landscape around them and getting them involved in the restoration and enhancement of their local heritage.
“Woodlands, grasslands, hedgerows and ponds will be improved, improving habitats for wildlife and allowing them to move more easily from one place to the next.
“Physical access to sites will be improved, making it easier for more people to visit and more information about the area will be produced in a range of interactive formats, allowing people to understand more about the history and importance of the area.”