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    Ancient woodland to be restored after £1M windfall

    Acres of ancient woodland, historic hedgerows, ponds and grassland will be restored after a conservation project was handed a £1m windfall.

    The Princethorpe Woodlands Living Landscape scheme – an initiative to restore wildlife habitats between Rugby, Coventry and Leamington – was awarded the grant from The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

    Organisers plan to spruce up an area bigger than 500 football pitches and attract wildlife such as the hazel dormouse and Purple Emperor butterfly.

    Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, which is leading the scheme, will be inviting the public to join in with woodland open days, guided walks and a programme of heritage and ecology skills training – including hedge-laying, charcoal-making and green wood-working.

    Volunteers could also help to restore and care for woodlands, meadows and hedgerows.

    Gina Rowe, Living Landscapes Manager at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, said: “This is a tremendous boost for wildlife and people in this special area of ancient woodlands. This grant will bring new training opportunities to local people and enable us to deliver a wide range of activities involving many people who cannot access local sites at present.”

    Chris Redstall, Princethorpe Woodlands Development Officer said it was an exciting opportunity to bring the area to life and engaging people with the wildlife on their doorstep.

    He added: “Young people in particular will be encouraged to swap their mobiles for the magic of ancient woodlands and trees and even discover how to cook and survive in the wild.”

    Warwickshire Wildlife Trust is leading the project in partnership with Rugby Borough Council, Coventry City Council, Friends of Brandon Wood, Natural England, Warwick District Council and Warwickshire County Council.

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