Posted on Friday 2nd February
Charnwood Forest is a surprising outpost of upland England in lowland Leicestershire. Having been created in a volcanic eruption 600 million years ago, Charnwood has developed rich layers of heritage. Its landscape is defined by granite-topped hills, wooded valleys, heathlands and grasslands.
Its shaded lanes reveal Arts and Craft cottages, ancient monasteries and drystone walls. About two thirds of the ancient Charnwood Forest lies within the 200 square miles of the larger National Forest, and its unique landscape is a vital ingredient in the overall variety of the wider Forest.
But although the magnificent landscape of Charnwood Forest lies on the doorstep of Leicester, Loughborough and Coalville, it is not as well known or understood as it should be. This puts it at risk: if people are not passionate about Charnwood, they will not understand its importance, and ultimately the things that make it so special risk being lost and forgotten. To address this, the Charnwood Forest Landscape Partnership Scheme aims to raise the profile of England’s unexpected uplands.
John Everitt, Chief Executive, National Forest Company, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to develop the Charnwood landscape and we are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund and to all National Lottery players for making it possible. Charnwood is a key landscape within the wider National Forest: a unique upland landscape with ancient woodland and a rich history. We look forward to working with all our partners to bring Charnwood’s stories to life and help the surrounding communities engage with this very special place. The Development Phase of the project kicks off in April 2018 and we will be recruiting two new team members to work on the project in the new year.”
The National Forest Company led the bid on behalf of the Charnwood Forest Regional Park partnership, with financial support from Leicestershire County Council, Charnwood Borough Council, Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council and North West Leicestershire District Council.