Charnwood Forest Landscape Partnership Scheme

Charnwood Forest Landscape Partnership Scheme

A large group of people wearing outdoor clothing pose for a group photo in the countryside
Charnwood Forest hosted an international conference on conserving geological heritage in 2023.

Landscape Partnerships

Date awarded
Ashby Woulds
Local Authority
North West Leicestershire
National Forest Company
Award Given
Seventeen partners are collaborating to enhance access, management and engagement with Charnwood Forest’s 600-million-year-old story.

Charnwood Forest’s ancient rocks, containing the fossils of the first moments of complex life on Earth, have created a mosaic of wildlife-rich habitats and distinctive landscape in Leicestershire. Shaped over the centuries by its communities, today this natural heritage needs co-ordinated management to ensure it has a sustainable future.

Eighteen smaller projects are inspiring people to explore and understand this landscape’s diverse natural heritage and develop skills to care for it. The ongoing work includes:

  • historical research, community archaeology and landscape surveys to unearth what’s special about Charnwood Forest
  • activities with local communities to connect them with the natural heritage on their doorstep, including Urban Forest in 2022 which featured art installations, talks, workshops, and performances to bring the essence of the forest to people in Loughborough
  • a bigger, better, more joined up approach to managing Charnwood Forest, including grasslands, woodland, natural flood management and wildlife recording
  • increasing the resilience of the most-visited sites in Charnwood Forest with improved facilities and management
  • improving and promoting a network of accessible forest trails
  • heritage skills training programme including orchard management and hedge-laying courses
  • supporting sustainable travel to and within the forest
  • investigating the condition of dry stone walls in the forest, creating a new apprenticeship opportunity, and engaging volunteers in restoring these iconic features of Charnwood’s landscape
A display of woven branches to look like trees in a large modern room. In the background people look at an exhibition with information about Charnwood Forest.
Urban Forest took over an empty retail unit in Loughborough to engage people with Charnwood Forest.

Atul Patel MBE, Independent Chair of the Charnwood Forest Landscape Partnership Scheme Steering Group said: “For far too long, Charnwood Forest’s significance for wildlife and geodiversity has gone unnoticed by many of the people who live, work, and play there. However, the Landscape Partnership Scheme is changing that narrative by unearthing 600 million years’ worth of stories, breathing life into the natural landscape and the people who have left their mark upon it. 

"When people visit Charnwood Forest, they will find a wealth of opportunity to learn, engage and enjoy Leicestershire’s unexpected uplands.”

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