The Community Woods Northern Pilot Project was a two year project from 2016 to 2018.
The aim of the project is to enable local community groups to manage their community woodland, via two levels of grants that groups applied to the Woodland Trust for – start-up grants (up to £1000) and support grants (up to £10,000). Funding for the project was from the Nationwide Building Society.
During 2017, the Community Woods project visited six of the project sites, making short films on each of the projects. The Case studies are Spa Ponds in Forest Town, Mansfield; Gibside Community Farm, near to Gateshead; Lionmouth Rural Centre, near Durham; The Prospects Foundation in Accrington; Edlington Parish Council, near Doncaster and ‘Wheels in the Wood’ near Huddersfield. You can view them all on the video links below.
Restoring a wetland habitat
Forest Town in Nottinghamshire received a start-up grant of £1,000 to assist them in restoring a wetland habitat in their woodland, along with additional woodland work and tree planting to increase biodiversity and also community involvement.
Creating a community farm
Gibside Community Farm, near Gateshead received a grant of £9,975, which enabled them to create a working agroforestry site including woodland creation in a community farm/garden setting.
Promoting wellbeing through practical and creative activities
Lionmouth Rural Centre, near Durham received a support grant of £10,000, for a project to improve the woodland and meadow areas of their community woodland whilst working with adults with mental health difficulties on developing skills and activities that make use of the produce found in the woodland.
Helping community groups and raising environmental issues
The Prospects Foundation in Lancashire received a support grant of £9,149, enabling them to work on numerous woodlands in their community, carrying out woodland management, education and training.
Turning abandoned allotments into a beautiful woodland
Edlington Town Council, near Doncaster received a support grant of £10,000 which enabled them to clear allotments and plant a new community woodland on four hectares of abandoned allotment sites.
Improving disabled access in woodland
Experience Community, near Huddersfield, received a support grant of £9,583 to improve access into the woodland for people with disabilities, by upgrading the path and carrying out conservation work.