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A spoof video that imitates popular TV series Top Gear has been used to promote a scheme to help less-mobile people enjoy their local forest.
The Forestry Commission-led Grow With Wyre Landscape Partnership Scheme has helped open up some of the harder to reach areas of the Wyre Forest to the elderly and disabled with the introduction of new off-road mobility scooters.
The innovative Tramper all-terrain buggies, which are available to hire from the visitor centre, come with style as standard with LED headlights and even a chrome plated bullbar.
The Top Gear style spoof video, which features mystery driver ‘The Stick’, is being shown on the Wyre Forest’s very own Youtube TV channel at www.youtube.com/WyreForestTV#p/f
The TV channel was recently launched by the Grow With Wyre Landscape Partnership Project, which was set up to help restore the unique landscape and heritage of the Wyre Forest and rejuvenate the local economy.
Chris Mansell from the Forestry Commission, the lead partner in the project, said:
“It was great to have ‘The Stick’ test ride one of our fantastic new Trampers and I would urge people to check out the test report video to see how well the special buggies handle the uneven surfaces of the forest environment.
“We want to make as much of the forest accessible for as many people as possible, and the new off road buggies mean less mobile visitors can access beautiful forest areas that would have previously been off limits."
“They are electric powered and limited to top speeds of 4mph so won’t disturb other users enjoying their time in the quiet of the forest.”
There are three trampers available for hire at the Discovery Centre at Callow Hill, near Bewdley. People who would like to hire them are also given a ten-minute demonstration and briefing to show them how they work.
The Trampers feature large rear wheels that help them combat uneven terrain, tailored suspension and ‘enormous articulation’ to help them overcome trail obstacles.
As well as the Top Gear spoof to promote the new mobility scooters the Wyre Forest TV channel also features videos promoting other aspects of life in the Wyre Forest including dedicated animal CCTV capturing wildlife in its natural habitat.
Grow With Wyre is running 18 separate projects to help restore the unique landscape of Wyre.
The Grow With Wyre Landscape Partnership Scheme consists of organisations including 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.
For more information about the Grow With Wyre projects visit www.growwithwyre.org
To view the Wyre Forest TV Channel, go to http://www.youtube.com/WyreForestTV#p/f
Notes to editor
- 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.
- 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 programme 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 and is made up from 18 projects, covering biodiversity, community involvement, access, local history, economic regeneration and education.
- GrantScape – GrantScape has a fourteen-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.
- 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.
- 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 £4.7billion across the UK, including just under £320million to the West Midlands alone. Website: www.hlf.org.uk
Media contacts: Chris Mansell, Wyre Forest project manager, on 01905 533839