Local people making their corner of rural Britain unique
Saturday 21 July 2007
This week, Richard Uridge is in Rockingham Forest in Northamptonshire, and learns that a forest doesn't necessarily mean trees.
Rockingham Forest was once extensive-- covering from Stamford in the north down to Northampton in the south. It was bordered East and West by the rivers Welland and Nene. It was established by William I, as a hunting preserve and has had royal connections ever since. Today, the forest covers a much smaller area -- Stamford down to the A14, still bordered by the two rivers -- and what remains is managed by the Rockingham Forest Trust.
Richard takes a walk in the forest with Dr. Peter Hill, who explains how being in a forest doesn’t necessarily mean seeing many trees. He also shows Richard the best remaining example of an Eleanor Cross.
Richard then gets to know a bit about the people and places that remain in the forest. He goes to Stanwick Lakes to see how an old quarry has become a popular nature park. He later joins Tom Day and Henry Stanier from the localWildlife Trust who explain to him how they are trying to reconnect separate bits of woodland to encourage the spread of rare insects and animals.
Finally, Richard goes into a wood in Pipewell. There he sees Hugh Ross and Carolyn Church, who bought the 30-acre to bring back the ancient arts of coppicing and charcoal making.
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