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Woodland project aims to help people turn over a new leaf

Woodland project aims to help people turn over a new leaf

newground picNewground Together has helped a new project to celebrate the area’s woodlands lay down some roots.

The Woodland Heritage Project aims to document the local woodlands, including carrying out archaeological surveys on ancient woodlands.

Woodland is scarce in the South Pennines with a mere four per cent coverage, and Newground Together has agreed to provide £60,000 over the term of the three-year project.

In addition to surveying the woodlands the project will also use new techniques and skills to tell the story of the South Pennines’ woodlands.

The project will be working with Forest Schools and training a new generation of woodland heritage champions. And the project will involve working closely with the University of Bradford’s School of Archaeological Sciences.

Peter Jordan, Communities Director at the Newground Together, said: “As one of the largest environmental regeneration charities in the North West we are dedicated to delivering programmes that improve the local environment and the lives of the people who live and work here.

“Our Forest School Practitioners have been working in these areas for a number of years and have found that young people respond very well to an alternative method of learning.

“There’s something very special about sitting around a campfire and it’s great fun being in the woods.  By introducing people to their local woodlands we’ve found they often develop a greater understanding and respect for them and don’t inadvertently damage them through ignorance.

“As one of the funders, our focus is on community engagement and education. The project covers a wide geographical area, there are many themes and the partners have many different skills and it’s an exciting and dynamic project in which to be involved.”

Chris Atkinson, recently appointed South Pennines Woodland Heritage Officer, added: “With our volunteers we’ll be carrying out archaeological surveys in ancient woodlands. There’ll be on the job training looking at past woodland use and any evidence of pre-woodland use, such as quarries, settlements and field markers. Even in the smaller woodlands, which predominate in this area, there’s still evidence to be found.

“We’re hoping that by surveying the woodlands people will gain a greater understanding of their importance and they’ll have a greater respect for them. This is vital if we are to protect them for future generations.”

There will be a Day School on Saturday, October 15 at the Birchcliffe Centre, Hebden Bridge. Organised by Pennine Prospects, South Pennines History Group and Pennine Heritage the day school will feature a number of key speakers, hands-on demonstrations and site visits.

For more information about the project please visit or contact Chris on 07582 101 691 or at

Picture: Woodland Heritage Launch (from left) Helen Noble, CEO Pennine Prospects; Peter Jordan, Newground, Together Trust; Coun Jeff Sumner, Mayor of Burnley; Pam Warhurst, Chair of Pennine Prospects; Chris Atkinson, South Pennines Woodland Heritage Officer.

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