A BID for £265,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a woodland heritage project has secured provisional backing.
The Wildlife Trust for Sheffield and Rotherham is applying for the cash for work at Greno Woods which will involve researching the ecology, archaeology and history of the site to help future management of the project.
The trust has been paid £24,000 of the funding so far and will find out about whether it will receive the rest next year.
Rather than relying solely on ‘experts’, the project aims to harness and develop the skills and experience of the public.
Roy Mosley, head of operations at the trust, said: “This project will enable us all to learn more about the woods by involving local communities in measuring and recording what’s already here and helping us plan what we should do to improve the woods for the future.”
More than 50 species of birds have already been recorded on site including several endangered species such as turtle dove, cuckoo and goldcrest.
However, the biodiversity of the site is significantly under-recorded at the moment and many more species are very likely to be present.
The funding will enable the trust to train interested people living nearby to be able to identify species and features themselves and record the wildlife found within the woods, which can then be used to draw up the development plans for the site.
The project development phase began in April but the first major event to be funded by the project is a Bio-Blitz Weekend on June 23 to 24.
Local residents are invited to come along and work alongside experts to identify and record ecological data.
The event will be run with Weston Park Museum using software developed for recording wildlife sightings.
It runs from 11am to 11pm on the Saturday, with searches for ants, invertebrates and bats, of tree life and mammal tracks.
Sunday’s programme involves observing the dawn chorus from 5am, followed by a study of birds and general flora, plus a ‘tree trail’ examining species living in branches.
To book an activity or to find out more log on to www.grenowoods.com or call 0114 2634335.