About Our Project

Celebrating Our Woodland Heritage Project

Pennine Prospects’ Celebrating Our Woodland Heritage project is jointly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Yorkshire Water, Newground Together and the Green Bank Trust, with support from the University of Bradford’s School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences.  This three year project (2016-2019) seeks to enhance our understanding of the historical and archaeological development of woodlands across the South Pennines.

Until recently woodlands across the region have received little historical attention.  As a result landowners and the West Yorkshire and Lancashire Historic Environment Records are lacking important archaeological information that would otherwise support any proposed woodland management activities.  This project serves to rectify this situation, whilst raising awareness and promoting the history and archaeology of woodlands to the public.

Through a series of archaeological surveys, workshops, excavations and Forest Schools; individuals, societies, pupils and families have been learning archaeological skills whilst contributing towards the regions understanding and appreciation of woodlands.

The results of the investigations will be compiled into a series of  publicly accessible reports and publications as well as a community and academic conference.  A series of heritage trails within woodlands across the region (including Towneley, Hardcastle Crags and Healey Dell, Rochdale) will also be launched so walkers and families can explore the history of woodlands for themselves.

Who are Pennine Prospects?

Pennine Prospects is a unique rural regeneration company created in 2005 as a champion for the South Pennines, the dramatic upland landscape that stands prominently above the urban centres of Greater Manchester, the Lancashire valleys and West Yorkshire. It is an award-winning partnership organisation that has attracted over £5 million of national and European funding to deliver a wide range of projects aimed at promoting, protecting and enhancing the built, natural and cultural heritage of the South Pennines.

Woodland Heritage Officer

As part of the Celebrating Our Woodland Heritage project; archaeologist Christopher Atkinson has been recruited as the Woodland Heritage Officer.  Chris has over ten years experience as an archaeologist, specialising in community archaeology and landscape survey within the county of Herefordshire, as well as more recently South Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.  As part of this project Chris will be providing the onsite training in woodland survey and excavation techniques to the public, as well as leading on the production of reports and organisation of events.

If you are interested in taking part in the project contact Chris Atkinson, Woodland Heritage Officer at Chris.Atkinson@pennineprospects.co.uk