This unique landscape is one of the most significant in the East Midlands, but very few people are aware of its value, both locally and internationally. The landscape is currently at risk and this grant will support new projects to protect and enhance it.
The grant, made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, will fund the Charnwood Forest Landscape Partnership Scheme. This five year scheme will promote awareness and understanding of the importance of Charnwood Forest through geological conservation, habitat restoration, improvements to connections between sites for visitors, creating innovative interpretation, outdoor learning opportunities for young people and adults, and a five-year programme of cultural and heritage activities and events.
John Everitt, Chief Executive of the National Forest Company, host organisation for the project, said:
“Charnwood Forest’s future hinges on our ability to convey its story effectively. We need to fill people with surprise, delight and awe when they hear it. Only when they understand Charnwood Forest will they be moved to care for it. This Scheme will support more than 80 sites across Charnwood Forest and enable over 1,000 volunteers to learn about and help us to protect this precious landscape.”
Charnwood Forest’s rocky outcrops, some of the oldest rocks on the planet, were thrown up by volcanic activity in the southern oceans more than 600 million years ago. Millions of years of global plate tectonic movements brought the Charnwood rocks to their current location, and with them the fossilised remains of the first moments of complex life on earth. These fossils are only found in a handful of places across the globe, and the most ancient are found in only two places on Earth: Newfoundland in Canada and Charnwood Forest in Leicestershire. Roadshows, events, outdoor activities and Citizen Science projects will enable 10,000 people to explore this incredible history.