The Princethorpe Woodlands Living Landscape project is now one step closer to its goal of restoring this ancient wooded landscape to one rich in wildlife and accessible to all, thanks to £116,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The 618-hectare area has 20 woodlands and has been described as the most important cluster of ancient woodlands in Warwickshire.
But many of the woodlands and interconnecting habitats are unmanaged and of poor quality, reducing their value as wildlife habitat and as places to visit.
This initial grant will allow detailed surveys of the area to be carried out as well as extensive community consultation, informing detailed delivery plans which should allow the partnership to secure an additional £1 million to complete the project over four years.
The partnership includes Butterfly Conservation, Coombe Country Park, Coventry City Council, Friends of Brandon Wood, Rugby Borough Council, Warwick District Council and Warwickshire County Council, and is led by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.
Reyahn King, head of Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, said: “This project covers an area rich in wildlife habitats including Warwickshire’s most precious ancient woodlands.
“We look forward to receiving the detailed plans for engaging communities and landowners in their conservation and management for the benefit of future generations.”
Chief executive of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Ed Green, said: “We are delighted to receive this grant. It will allow us to work with our partners, communities and local landowners to encourage local people to get involved in the ancient woodlands and historical sites around them.
“The project will provide a range of training and learning opportunities for local people as well as many events and activities, reconnecting people with the landscape around them and getting them involved in the restoration and enhancement of their local heritage.
“Woodlands, grasslands, hedgerows and ponds will be improved, improving habitats for wildlife and allowing them to move more easily from one place to the next. ”