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Woodland Edge

Help Shape the Future of Leicestershire's Volcano

Charnwood Forest

Charnwood Forest Regional Park, one of the most iconic parts of The National Forest, is the focus of a new landscape partnership bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund. If successful, the bid will result in £3million worth of projects to promote, protect and celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of Charnwood.

Charnwood Forest is one of the most beautiful parts of The National Forest, rising out of the East Midlands plain and forming a glorious backdrop to Loughborough and Leicester.

Created by a volcano around 600 million years ago, these hills hold some of the oldest rocks in England, and contain the oldest fossils of animal life in the world, as featured at the start of Sir David Attenborough’s First Life TV series.  

We have much to thank the volcano for. Its granite rock built much of central London and, as its soils are so thin and poor, it supports some exceptional wildlife habitats; in fact, over half the area of the county’s SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest) are to be found in Charnwood Forest. For a long time it was considered ‘waste’ ground, thereby escaping development and becoming a place of peace and tranquillity, often managed by religious houses such as Grace Dieu and Ulverscroft priories.

Charnwood Forest is designated as a Regional Park and about two thirds of it falls within The National Forest. If it wasn’t for the M1 going through the middle, it would be a very strong candidate for designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get the recognition or protection that many think it deserves and its special qualities are under threat due to potential development, conflicts in the use of the countryside, habitat loss and lack of knowledge of its social history and archaeological past.

To help protect and nurture Charnwood Forest, the Regional Park is developing a new Landscape Partnership bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and needs your help. 

If successful, it will deliver around £3million worth of projects to enable people to explore, understand and care for Charnwood Forest between 2020 and 2025, improving people’s skills, building communities and managing the heritage of this fascinating area.

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Post: Charnwood Bid, National Forest Company, Bath Yard, Moira, Swadlincote, Derbyshire, DE12 6BA
Tel: 01283 551211