Beyond Housing has been working in partnership with Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, Loftus Town Council, and a number of local groups and organisations, to create an accessible community woodland and wetland in a 4.6-acre disused allotment site in Loftus.
The project is being part-funded by a grant of £124,100 from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ Green Recovery Challenge Fund; one of just 68 schemes in the UK to be chosen as a beneficiary. Further match-funding investments of £20,000, £30,000 and £50,000 were pledged by Beyond Housing, Esh Construction and Groundwork NE & Cumbria, respectively.
The community woodland will offer a range of family events and activities, as well as a home for volunteering opportunities and community groups. Schoolchildren will be able to venture out of the classroom to learn outdoors, whilst the new two-metre-wide paths will allow accessibility for people with prams or limited mobility.
The project aims to create new and vibrant habitat and enhance biodiversity. Veteran trees will be conserved, with more trees planted to ensure a lush woodland for years to come.
Rosemary Du Rose, Chief Executive at Beyond Housing, said: “It is inspiring to see the hard work our community connectors and partners have put in to make this an excellent facility for Loftus residents.
“The project has three primary aims; to ensure that it is accessible for everyone, that the habitat encourages wildlife and sustainability, and employment – creating opportunities for people in creating and maintaining this space.”
There has recently been a series of workshops to seek the communities help to design and co-create entrance sign sculptures within the woodland. The artist will now collate all the community feedback and pull together sculptures which will be installed in the future.
DEVELOPED IN PARTNERSHIP