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An ancient wood near Littledale in Lancashire is being revived thanks to the efforts of eager volunteers and a £10,000 grant from the Forestry Commission.
Beautiful Tarn Brook Wood dates back hundreds of years, but during the 20th century exotic species like rhododendron, Himalyan balsam and even bamboo were introduced, choking the native trees and vegetation.
But now the Lune Rivers Trust – which is run entirely by volunteers – has completed a year-long project to remove unwanted invasive plants and give trees and flowers the chance to thrive again. In an earlier project funded by the Trust a weir was also removed opening up a mile long stretch of the brook - a catchment for the River Lune - to spawning fish for the first time in nearly 100 years.
James Anderson-Bickley from the Forestry Commission said:
“It's been a tremendous effort and the benefits can already been seen in this wonderful little woodland. The mix of water and ancient woodland is a magical one for wildlife, but it's vital such areas are actively managed to keep them in good condition, especially to keep invasive plants at bay. That's why we were so keen to support this community project under our Woodland Improvement Grant scheme.”
Sarah Littlefield, from the Lune Rivers Trust, added:
“Some of the rhododendron were bigger than trees creating a major problem for the woodland and its wildlife. All the work has been done during a series of work days and our brilliant volunteers, ranging in age from 1 to 80 years old, have made a massive impact. We are now seeing blue bells emerging in ground once smothered with rhododendron and migratory fish can now swim up the stream.”
To find out more about grants available under the Forestry Commission's English Woodland Grant Scheme visit www.forestry.gov.uk/ewgs or call 01524 565800.
Notes to editor
1. Forestry Commission England runs the English Woodland Grant Scheme
(EWGS) to protect, improve and expand our forests, as set out in the government's Natural Environment White Paper www.defra.gov.uk/environment/natural/whitepaper/. EWGS is a part of the Rural Development Plan for England (RDPE). Further information about these schemes can be found atwww.defra.gov.uk/rural/rdpe/index.htm
2. Forestry Commission England is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands.
3. Media calls to Richard Darn on 0775 367 0038.
M: 0775 367 0038