Landscapes receive £5m to reveal ‘hidden histories’

Areas of medieval woods to be preserved as part of rescue package for landscapes.

A multi-million-pound project to reveal the “hidden histories of our most precious landscapes”, including a Winnie the Pooh landmark, was launched last week. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) promised more than £5m to restore three landscapes as part of its Landscape Partnership scheme. Weald Forest Ridge in East Sussex includes Winnie the Pooh’s famous Ashdown Forest. The £2m award will help restore surviving stretches of medieval woods. A representative said: “Aerial mapping will identify archaeology and reveal hidden history.” Cheshire’s Sandstone Ridge won £1.4m for restoration of habitats and ancient burial grounds dating back to Neolithic times. Wyre Forest, located on the Worcestershire/Shropshire border, was awarded £1.9m for work to revitalise orchards, woodland and grasslands. Secretary for biodiversity, landscape and rural affairs Barry Gardiner said: “The money will help communities work together to create tomorrow’s living landscapes.” HLF director Carole Souter said: “This scheme will make a huge difference to these important landscapes.” The latest awards take the Landscape Partnership’s grant allocation to £32m in the past four years.

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