Foreword BY CAROL COOPER,CHAIRMAN
A year of Change
This year has seen the Trust complete one of its largest ever projects on the ground at Workhouse Coppice and Benthall Edge, beginning the process of long term ‘continuous cover’ woodland management for wildlife, products and people.
At its heart was the considerable amount of scientific evidence, on wildlife, archaeology, and land management combined with a large scale consultation process, which underpins all that we do.
We are privileged to manage some of the most beautiful landscape in the World under a lease of nearly 1,000 years, so everything that we do is for the very long term.
We are also fortunate that we work in an area where people have had such a long relationship with the land.The volunteering programme, established last year has been a great success with 121 individuals contributing 1,145 hours of work in practically managing the land and carrying out wildlife surveys. This combined with our employment of many local contractors who do such a professional job in everything from tree surgery to wall repair.
But we are not immune from the larger forces of climate change, judging by the severity of winter storms which brought down around 300 trees, expertly dealt with by our contractors.We seem to be entering an unpredictable climatic period which might involve changes brought by nature to our local landscape.
Through all of this change, we will continue to manage for the long term, guided by our management plans. We are also making long term plans for a new sustainable office and volunteer base designed by Simmonds Mills architects on land which we manage at the old deer park in Sunniside, subject to planning permission. This will be built with local materials and be highly energy efficient as well as fitting carefully into the local landscape.
Finally, we continue to develop our partnerships, working with many other organisations without whom we could not do our important work.