The National Lottery Heritage Fund has announced funding of over £484,400 for a Woodland Trust project set to revitalise the Faughan Valley landscape, on the outskirts of Derry/Londonderry. receives
This boost will enable the conservation charity to deliver plans, over three years, for a £1.2m project. It’s an undertaking which will benefit the valley’s communities, landowners, landscape and wildlife.
The Faughan Valley covers some 80 square miles and has been identified as an area of strategic importance thanks to some precious natural features.
The Woodland Trust will work with landowners and communities to create a ‘resilient wooded landscape’, with numerous benefits in the offing. The fundamental aim is to restore, bolster and connect the vulnerable fragments of ancient woodland.
The targets are:
- To restore 60 hectares of damaged ancient woods. This includes the gradual thinning of non-native conifers and the removal of invasive species, such as laurel and rhododendron.
- To plant 45 hectares of trees along riverbanks. This riparian planting will buffer and extend fragments of ancient woodland, while reducing the impacts of flooding.
- To restore 3,000 metres of hedgerows, and plant 5,000 metres of new hedgerows.
Dave Scott, the Woodland Trust’s Treescape Project Manager commented:
“This is an unmissable opportunity for the Trust and for local people. By creating and protecting woodland, we’re helping to create a resilient wooded landscape that will stay strong when faced with ever increasing threats, such as flooding and tree disease.
Ian McCurley, Director of Woodland Trust for Northern Ireland commented:
“These are exciting times for The Woodland Trust and for Northern Ireland. This award from The National Lottery Heritage Fund has come at a crucial time, as woodland cover in Northern Ireland is the lowest in all of Europe at 8%, and our precious ancient woodland cover is 0.04%. Our vision is to protect, restore and connect ancient woodland for people, wildlife and the economy and this funding from the National Lottery will enable us to do just that for the Faughan Valley.