Cash windfall for woodland project

Discussions at Knockman Wood corn kiln
Discussions at Knockman Wood corn kiln

Cree Valley Community Woodlands Trust (CVCWT) has just received a grant award of £199,500.

The fantastic windfall has come from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and will go towards its new Cree Valley Woodland Heritage Project which will run until the spring of 2015.

The project will be primarily a woodland access, conservation and restoration project but will also have strong volunteer and local community involvement.

It will provide opportunities to learn about the biodiversity and archaeology of the Cree Valley, as well as delivering benefits such as employment skills and improved health. Other funders include a private donation, the Freshfield Foundation, Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) and Tarmac Ltd.

One hundred hectares of native woodland will be restored and enhanced, and 36.5 hectares of native oak woodland will be created. In addition, 260 hectares of “woodland fringe” will be established in partnership with FCS in the buffer zone of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Reserve. A new, second, polytunnel at the CVCWT’s tree nursery on the RSPB’s Wood of Cree reserve will ensure appropriate tree species will be available for planting.

Woodland sites will be more physically accessible, with improved path networks. A range of volunteering opportunities will enable local people to learn new skills and participate in activities which will enhance their local environment.

Archaeological features within the Cree Valley will be surveyed and recorded under the guidance of an archaeologist. For the first time the “people heritage” will be integrated with the “natural heritage” across the woodland sites in the project, making it better understood and appreciated. Local people will have the chance to learn about the biodiversity and archaeology of the Cree Valley through a variety of sources, including in local community venues, online and through visiting the woodland sites. A range of learning materials will enable more people to learn about the heritage of the area, in particular school groups and through intergenerational community activities.

The Cree Valley Woodland Heritage project was developed last year with HLF funding. Many community members, groups, schools and colleges were interested in the project and exciting and innovative interactive projects are planned involving these groups.

Commenting on the HLF award, CVCWT ecologist Pete Robinson said: “We are really thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund which will enable us to carry out this vital woodland work and to support the local community in reconnecting people with the woodlands and their history.”

For further information about the Cree Valley Woodland Heritage project, please contact Pete or Linda on 01671 401423 or email or visit