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The National Forest's Black to Green project secures Heritage Lottery Fund investment

Monday, 20th April 2015

The National Forest Company and its partners in the Heart of the Forest Forum have been awarded £770,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the innovative Black to Green project. 

Black to Green will conserve and enhance the Heart of the Forest, a ten square mile area centred on Moira, Donisthorpe and Ashby Woulds, the most radically transformed landscape within the 200 square miles of The National Forest.

Lying at the heart of the former Midlands Coalfield, woodland cover in this area has increased from 1% to 27% over the last 20 years. It is an exceptional story of rapid change from 19th century deep coal and open cast mining, clay extraction and associated industrial activity, to a 21st century attractive and sustainable landscape led by the creation of The National Forest.

Black to Green will celebrate the area’s rich industrial heritage and future identity as the heart of England’s newest forest.

The project will build on last year’s development stage and its programme of walks, woodland management, nature conservation work and woodland crafts. Following extensive consultation with local communities and local landowners – including the Forestry Commission, Leicestershire County Council, the National Forest Charitable Trust, the Woodland Trust and local parish councils – to research the needs and wants of the area, the project can now expand into a full three year programme.

Alan Leather, Development Manager for Black to Green, said:  “We are thrilled that the Heritage Lottery Fund has chosen to support plans to help people learn about, enjoy and take part in the Heart of the Forest’s fascinating story of landscape change.”