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Nature and history lovers are being offered the opportunity to get involved in an exciting £4 million environmental and heritage project in the Wyre Forest.
The Grow With Wyre Landscape Partnership programme, awarded just over £1.8million by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), is led by the Forestry Commission and was set up to help restore the unique landscape of Wyre, celebrate its rich working history and help protect rare species like butterflies.
A volunteer co-ordinator has been recruited to help interested residents of the Wyre Forest area become involved in the HLF Landscape Partnership programme.
Emma Bogaard, of the Wyre Community Land Trust, who has a BSc in Countryside Management, is looking for people who would like to assist the project in a variety of different ways.
“Volunteering gives people a sense of 'belonging' and an opportunity to meet new people and to make friends with like minded individuals. The volunteer opportunities with Grow with Wyre are endless whether you want to get involved with orchard and meadow restoration, helping with the Dexter cattle and Gloucester Old Spots pigs, stock fencing, hedgerow and tree planting.
Emma, who has also worked on Adam Henson’s farm which is featured regularly on BBC’s Countryfile, added:
"It would be fantastic to have more volunteers on board the Grow with Wyre Scheme and really look forward to working with people from all types of backgrounds and explore their possibilities and aspirations whether they just want to help the historical landscape that is so important to the Wyre or gain skills to further a particular interest or career - we can help."
People are needed to help with interesting projects such as conducting wildlife surveys, measuring and documenting ancient trees, or even helping locate undiscovered archaeological remains between the pre-Roman period and the early industrial period – and everything in between.
Anne Jenkins, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for the West Midlands, said:
“Landscapes play a huge role in our lives and are often the backdrop to daily routines - but we mustn’t take them for granted. HLF’s investment in this project is particularly timely now that 2010 been declared International Year of Biodiversity by the UN* which asks people to celebrate and safeguard the enormous variety of wildlife and plantlife our world has to offer. We encourage people to get out there, get involved, and volunteer!”
Volunteer days are held on Wednesdays and Thursdays at Uncllys Farm, with the Wyre Community Land Trust which also runs fruit pressing and woodland courses.
Bob Griffiths, programme manager for the Grow With Wyre Scheme, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for people, with a wide range of interests, to come along and get involved in some of the fascinating projects we have running as part of the Grow With Wyre Scheme.
“If you are interested in nature you can help to find, measure and record the locations of vintage trees in the area. This will provide us with crucial data to help us look after them and ensure their continual survival.
“Other people may be interested in history and there are great opportunities to build on information that was revealed when we had a LiDAR aerial mapping survey done two years ago.
“We also need help with the logging of biological and historical information in our expanding archives.”.
The Forestry Commission is the lead partner in the Grow With Wyre Landscape Partnership Scheme, joined by Natural England, Shropshire County Council, Bewdley Development Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Worcester County Council, Wyre Forest Study Group, Wyre Community Land Trust, Wyre Forest District Council, Bewdley Development Trust and the National Trust.
Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Emma on 07791646775 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the Forestry Commission in the West Midlands visit www.forestry.gov.uk/westmidlands
For more information about the Grow With Wyre projects visit www.forestry.gov.uk/growwithwyre
NOTES TO EDITOR
An image of Emma Bogaard is attached.
Images of the Wyre Forest are available by calling 01524-782086.
1. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible for forestry in Great Britain. It supports woodland owners with grants; tree felling licences, regulation and advice; promotes the benefits of forests and forestry; and advises Government on forestry policy. It manages more than a million hectares (2.5 million acres) of national forest land for public benefits such as sustainable timber production, public recreation, nature conservation, and rural and community development. For further information, visit www.forestry.gov.uk/westmidlands.
2. The Grow With Wyre Landscape Partnership programme is being delivered by a partnership of the following organisations. The Forestry Commission is the lead partner in the Grow With Wyre Landscape Partnership Scheme, joined by Natural England, Shropshire County Council, Bewdley Development Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Worcester County Council, Wyre Forest Study Group, Wyre Community Land Trust, Wyre Forest District Council, Bewdley Development Trust and the National Trust.
The Grow With Wyre Landscape Partnership Scheme is led by the Forestry Commission and was set up to help restore the unique landscape of Wyre, celebrate its rich working history and help protect rare species like butterflies. This £4 million Scheme is mainly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund under its Landscape Partnership programme and is made up from 18 projects, covering biodiversity, community involvement, access, local history, economic regeneration and education.
3. The Heritage Lottery Fund Landscape Partnership programme is helping bring together members of the community as well as local, regional, and national organisations to deliver schemes which benefit some of the UK’s most outstanding landscapes and rural communities. Grants range from £250,000 up to £2m. To date, HLF has awarded £416m to over 2,785 projects for support of the UK's natural heritage.
4. The Heritage Lottery Fund uses money raised through the National Lottery to sustain and transform a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported 33,900 projects, allocating £4.4billion across the UK, including just under £320million to the West Midlands alone. Website: www.hlf.org.uk
5. International Year of Biodiversity - 2010 has been declared as International Year of Biodiversity by the United Nations - the year that celebrates the diversity of life on earth, including every plant, animal and micro-organism. HLF is supporting the International Year of Biodiversity. The diversity of life on earth is crucial for human well-being and now is the time to act to preserve it. website: www.biodiversitylife.net
6. GrantScape – GrantScape has a twelve-year environmental and community grant-making heritage. It is also a major funder of biodiversity projects across England and Wales (see www.grantscape.org.uk). Since 2005, GrantScape has awarded some £10 million through its Biodiversity Challenge Fund to 25 major projects considered to deliver the most significant gains for UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) priority habitats and species. Grow with Wyre’s “Rejuvenating Traditional Orchards, Special Trees and Ancient Hedgerows” project was one of six grant award winners under its 2007 Biodiversity Challenge Fund. The £294,000 grant from GrantScape is also being made available through the Landfill Communities Fund, using monies provided by Waste Recycling Group Ltd.
7. SITA Trust - SITA Trust was set up in 1997 and runs two major funding programmes including Enriching Nature – for biodiversity projects in England. To date the trust has committed more than £74 million to over 2000 projects. Each year, SITA Trust commits over £7 million nationwide through the Landfill Communities Fund, see www.sitatrust.org.uk. Landfill tax was introduced in 1996 to encourage more sustainable ways of managing waste. The landfill tax legislation also brought about the Landfill Communities Fund. This scheme allows landfill operators to voluntarily donate 5.5% of their landfill tax liability to environmental improvement projects.
Bob Griffiths (Wyre Forest Landscape Partnership/Forestry Commission) on 01299-269228 or email email@example.com
Alison Coggon (Administrative Officer - Grow With Wyre) on 01584-813828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Cleaver (Wyre Community Land Trust) on 0777 585 0480 or email email@example.com