Heritage: New role for Eccleshall woodland

Run routes in Ecclesall Woods.
Run routes in Ecclesall Woods.

Ancient woodland in Sheffield is to feature as a site for preservation work and to help teach about skills and crafts from long ago.

Under the Trees Woodcraft has received £9,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help ancient woodland using hand tools and green woodwork crafts.

The project will be based in Ecclesall Woods, and will focus on the woodland’s history, and traditional skills associated with one of the Sheffield’s largest and oldest woodlands.

People of different ages can get back to nature and learn about centuries-old woodland practices.

They will discover how different types of trees were harvested historically to create products, and the wood-based crafts that flourished.

Ecclesall Woods is Sheffield’s largest area of ancient woodland, dating from the middle ages.

At one time the woods formed part of a medieval deer park, which by the sixteenth century had been converted into coppice woodlands.

By the nineteenth century coppicing was in decline, and the woods became converted to canopy woods.

The woods became a public space in 1927.

David Renwick, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: ‘This exciting project will enable the local community to get involved and learn traditional woodland skills.

“The work taking place ties into HLF’s natural heritage campaign, Yorkshire’s Back Garden, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of our local wildlife and green spaces.”

Dave Jackson said: “Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund we can really push on with our plans to build a base in the very heart of one of Sheffield’s ancient woods where we can keep alive and share the old woodland skills and crafts”

Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “This funding is great news, and I’m sure it will make a real difference to the woodcraft group.”

“With around 800 parks, woodlands and green spaces to enjoy across Sheffield, I’d encourage everyone to see what’s going on and take advantage of opportunities like this, to learn something new, have fun and keep these ancient traditions alive here in the Outdoor City.”