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Bid submitted to fund community woodland in Hathern

Published: Thu 12th November, 2020

A £43,000 bid has been put together to fund the creation of a community woodland in Hathern.

Charnwood Borough Council is working with Hathern Parish Council on the project which is looking to create a 15-acre woodland on council-owned land off Golden Square in Hathern.

The proposed Hathern Community Woodland project could see around 15,000 trees planted on the site.

The Council has applied to the Forestry Commission for a Woodland Creation Grant which provides funding to help establish new woodland areas and it’s hoped the project could bring a range of benefits to the local area.

Residents will be able to get involved in the project by helping with the planning and creation of the woodland. There would be an opportunity to develop new community groups to help manage and maintain the area and local schools could also access the site for organised “forest school” activities. 

The woodland could provide recreation benefits through a range of outdoor activities including footpaths and nature trails. It will also encourage residents to get involved in conservation and biodiversity in their local area.

Cllr Roy Rollings, the Council’s lead member for transformation said: “We’re really pleased to be working with Hathern Parish Council on this project which could see the creation of a community woodland in the area. The project could bring many benefits to residents and we would encourage them to help develop and shape this woodland which would be on their doorstep.

“Trees and woodlands bring a variety of benefits to our lives as well as helping to improve air quality and contribute to the fight against climate change. As a Council we are committed to looking after our current open spaces and developing new ones. This includes our pledge to ensure 100,000 trees are planted in the borough over the next four years”.

“More details of the project will be unveiled if the bid is successful so I would encourage residents in Hathern to watch this space”

Planting for the community woodland is expected to be made up of native species and consideration is being given to the choice of future specifics to enable to woodland to adapt to climate change.

Roy Dann, Chair of Hathern Parish Council said: “This is such good news for the local community, especially coming toward the end of a very difficult year for everyone.

“The development of the woodland will create all sorts of opportunities for people to become involved and the Parish Council will be working closely with the Borough Council to make this happen”

The project is also expected to contribute to the Council’s commitment to become Carbon Neutral by 2030. It is estimated that after 30 years the Hathern Community Woodland has the potential to capture up to 1,399 total carbon dioxide (tC02).

The council-owned land off Golden Square has a total of area of 18-acres and the woodland is expected to be around 15-acres.

The Council is hoping to find out if its funding application is successful by the end of this year and work on establishing the new woodland could start from autumn 2021.