Cash boost for ancient Princethorpe woodlands

Princethorpe partners celebrate receiving Heritage Lottery funding
Princethorpe partners celebrate receiving Heritage Lottery funding
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A woodland project near Leamington has been awarded more than £1million.

The Warwickshire Wildlife Trusts’ Princethorpe woodlands living landscape scheme is working to restore important wildlife habitats in the areas lying between east Coventry, Rugby and north Leamington and reconnect people with these places.

The project was awarded the £1million by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The money will allow the trust to restore 300 hectares of ancient woodland, 20km of historic hedgerows including old parish boundaries, 15 ponds and 20 hectares of flower rich grassland over the next four years.

According to the trust this will create a habitat for iconic wildlife such as the hazel dormouse and Purple Emperor butterfly.

Gina Rowe, living landscapes manager at Warwickshire wildlife trust said: “The partnership is absolutely thrilled with the success of our HLF funding application. This is a tremendous boost for wildlife and people in this special area of ancient woodlands. This grant will bring new training opportunities to local people and enable us to deliver a wide range of activities involving many people who cannot access local sites at present.”

Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, said: “We’re delighted to support the Warwickshire wildlife trust to restore the habitats, species and historical sites of Princethorpe woodlands. It’s great that money raised by National Lottery players can help to reconnect people with the living landscape on their doorstep through such a fun and accessible range of activities.”

Chris Redstall, Princethorpe Woodlands Development Officer said: “We now have an exciting opportunity to really bring to life the natural places within this part of Warwickshire, engaging people with the wildlife on their doorstep and improving the vital habitats on which our butterflies, bees, bats and birds depend. Young people in particular will be encouraged to swap their mobiles for the magic of ancient woodlands and trees and even discover how to cook and survive in the wild!”

There will now be opportunities for people to get involved including woodland open days, guided walks and a programme of heritage and ecology sills training such as hedge-laying, charcoal-making and green wood-working.