Take a leaf from Frances

Frances Wade and her team with the results of their hard work
Frances Wade and her team with the results of their hard work

Landowners and businesses in the Ribble Valley are being encouraged to join a woodland scheme which has already helped to boost tree cover on a local farm.

The Lancashire Woodlands Project (LWP) helps landowners access funds to plant new woods and look after existing ones to improve wildlife, timber production, and people’s enjoyment of the countryside. Now Lancashire County Council is urging more people to join the project.

Frances Wade, who manages Ramsgreave Hall Farm, a small farm in Wilpshire, contacted the woodlands project in summer 2011. Paul Bullimore, manager of the LWP, said: “Frances got in touch for advice on how to manage two existing woodlands on the farm, and how to plan new planting to link them together.

“After visiting the farm we discussed the options, drew up a design and proposals for ongoing management of the woodland, and helped Frances apply for a grant from the Forestry Commission to pay for it.

“There are a number of funds we can help people to access which exist to boost ecology and woodland cover, and applications from Lancashire are generally welcomed as we’re one of the UK’s least wooded counties.”

Work on the planting at Ramsgreave Hall Farm started in autumn 2011, just weeks after Frances contacted the LWP.

Frances said: “The woodlands at Ramsgreave are extremely important ecological resources and through conservation and regeneration we can make it a better place for future generations. “Linking these existing old woodlands by planting new trees creates valuable ecological corridors to enhance species diversity especially in terms of flora, insect and bird life.

“The LWP provided helpful practical advice and guidance through the grant application process and also assist ed in making valuable links to the Forestry Commission, Woodland Trust and RSPB. I am delighted with the results and would encourage others to contact the project for advice.”

County Councillor Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council, added: “We’re committed to protecting and improving woodlands in the county and these are great example of where partnership working reaps real rewards.

“By supporting local landowners with advice we can make a big difference to the landscape, wildlife and people of Lancashire.”

If you have land you could plant woodlands on or woodlands which are not managed please contact the project to discuss the options available. You can contact the Lancashire Woodlands Project on 01772 533917, e-mail: lwp@lancashire.gov.uk or find out more online at www.lancashire.gov.uk/lwp