Durham Woodland Revival will restore woodlands and reconnect forest networks in the County Durham landscape. Local communities, woodland owners and contractors will be encouraged and supported to care for and improve ancient woodlands and an area the size of the historic Durham city centre will be planted with new woodland. This will strengthen the area's resilience to tree disease and the effects of climate change.
Throughout history woodlands have provided food, shelter and timber for tools, homes and fuel. The modern forestry industry has become very focused on large scale plantations, however the majority of woodlands in County Durham are small, and in multiple, private ownerships.
We will help woodland owners and communities reconnect with this natural heritage, bringing neglected woodlands back into active management and enhancing this valuable resource for future generations. Management will increase the biodiversity and amenity value, as well as creating local business opportunities.
Communities will learn how to survey and understand their woodlands and be supported to take an active role in the care of these sites; enabling good, future management decisions to be made. Woodland owners and contractors will be upskilled and given help with grant applications and management plans, with the aim of restoring ancient woodlands.
More than 80 hectares of new woodlands will be planted, an area the size of the historic Durham city centre. All of this will strengthen the resilience of this area against the effects of climate change.
The project is led by a partnership of organisations including Durham County Council, Forestry Commission, Northwoods, Wear Rivers Trust and Woodland Trust. Project delivery began in autumn 2019 and will run until 2023. Durham Woodland Revival is supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund with a grant of £434,200 towards a total cost of £820,155.
The Project Manager will champion our project, ensuring that it delivers an integrated approach to woodland management. They will manage the overall programme of activity, co-ordinating communication and shared activities of the partners and be responsible for reporting to The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The Forestry Officer will work closely with project partners, woodland owners and forestry professionals to provide advice and support on all aspects of woodland management and creation. They will also develop cooperative working between different ownerships where this can achieve economies of scale.
Community Engagement Officer
The Community Engagement Officer will support local people taking ownership of their nearby woodlands, offering advice and support to existing groups and helping to establish new ones. They will oversee the wood allotment and woodland archaeology projects and support the creation of a new umbrella organisation to ensure long term sustainability of community woodland ownership.