Sheffield communities urged to branch out and manage woods

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Sheffield communities are being urged to branch out and take advantage of a £170,00 pot to help manage their local woods.

The Woodland Trust project is an attempt to increase the amount of woodland in community ownership and support the work of existing organisations.

Grants of £500 are available for new groups looking to form, with established groups eligible to apply for grants of up to £10,000.

Beccy Speight, the Woodland Trust’s chief executive, said: “Trees and woods have so many benefits for society but we’re becoming increasingly disconnected from the natural world. By providing resources and funding we can try and halt this worrying trend, helping people in Sheffield who are passionate about their local woods take an active role in the care and management of them.”

One group which has been established for over 25 years and manages local woodland is the Steel Valley Project in Stocksbridge.

It began planting trees with local school children on steelworks land in 1988.

SVP project manager, Tom Newman, said: “We work closely with local landowners such as Sheffield City Council and TATA Steel to engage volunteers and communities in the management of woodlands. Encouraging people to take an active role helps them value the woodlands for recreation and wildlife.

“We recently completed a project for Sheffield Council to improve a group of woodlands in north Sheffield working with groups of volunteers, managing woodland habitats for wildlife and improving public safety and access. Our volunteers have had the chance to improve their knowledge of woodland habitats and learn new practical skills.”

Visit www.communitywoodland.org