Hidden heritage of Manchester woodlands to be revealed
The Woodland Futures project, led by leading environmental charity City of Trees, has been awarded a £182,900 National Lottery grant to restore and revitalise three important historic woodlands in the Greater Manchester suburb of Wythenshawe, just eight miles from the city centre.
Over two years, the urban greening project will work in partnership with charity Back on Track and 100 volunteers to connect local communities to the natural heritage on their doorstep and provide opportunities for developing skills, improving confidence and general wellbeing.
A fascinating history
As relics of the major rural estates of Tatton and Massey, which dominated the landscape from the 13th to 19th centuries, the three woodlands - Sandilands Wood, The Brundrit and Ash Wood – have always had a special connection to the Greater Manchester area of Wythenshawe. The area has its roots as a ‘garden city’ where people were rehoused away from the industrial city before the rapid expansion of Manchester’s southern suburbs from the 1920’s onwards.
A haven for wildlife
Now home to a variety of wildlife, including foraging bats, they are a haven amongst the urban sprawl, forming a network of mature woodlands across the borough.
Andy Long, from City of Trees, said: “Wythenshawe comes from Anglo-Saxon “Withigensceaga” meaning ‘small wood of withy (willow) trees’. We are delighted that, thanks to National Lottery players, this project will focus on bringing these natural heritage assets back into use for both people and wildlife.”