1 August 2017

Press release from Heritage Lottery Fund and Under the Trees Woodcraft Group

Under the Trees Woodcraft has received £9,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project to help teach ancient woodland heritage with hand tools and green woodwork crafts.

The project will be based in Ecclesall Woods, and has been made possible by money raised by National Lottery players; the project focuses on the woodland history and traditional skills and crafts associated with one of the Sheffield’s largest ancient woodlands.

The project will enable people of different ages to learn about centuries-old woodland practices, how different types of trees were harvested historically to create different products and the range of tools and wood-based crafts that were linked to the woods.

Ecclesall Woods is Sheffield’s largest area of ancient woodland, dating from the middle ages. At one time it formed part of a medieval deer park, which by the 16th century, had been converted into coppice woods. By the 19th 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 Heritage Lottery Fund – 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 in to HLF’s natural heritage campaign, Yorkshire’s back garden, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of our local wildlife and green spaces.”

Commenting on the award, Under the Trees craftsman, 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.

“These woodland practices are centuries old and so it is only fitting that they are taught in one of Sheffield’s most ancient woodlands.

“With around 800 parks, woodlands and green spaces to enjoy across Sheffield, I’d encourage everyone to see what’s 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.”

Woodland craft courses take place throughout the year at Ecclesall Woods and in the Discovery Centre, people can find out more at www.ecclesallwoodscraftcourses.co.uk or on the Ecclesall Woods Craft Courses Facebook page www.facebook.com/underthetreeswoodcraft