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The ProgrammeFuelling a Revolution
Sweet Chestnut
The Heritage Woodlands contain a number of tree species introduced from elsewhere, such as this fine Sweet Chestnut in Falconer Wood.

Heritage Woods is the name given to 35 important woodlands spread throughout the South Yorkshire Forest and lying close to Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield. All 35 Heritage Woodlands are being restored as part of the Fuelling a Revolution programme.

These woodlands are special because they are almost all ancient woodlands, which means that they are known to be at least 400 years old.

The history of the Heritage Woodlands is remarkable well known. The long relationship between the woods and people is shown by the prehistoric settlements and other archaeological features that they contain, as well as by the large number of old documents which describe the ways in which they were used in the past. From this evidence, we know that the woodlands have changed a lot over time, from the 'wildwood' of prehistoric times; through their use as 'wood-pasture' and 'coppice'; to the planting of trees originally from elsewhere in the world, that are now common in many of the woodlands.

For thousands of years the Heritage Woodlands were an important source of materials for building and farming and most importantly of fuel for South Yorkshire's early iron and steel industry. In fact, without the charcoal produced from the woodlands, it is unlikely that this industry would have developed in the area at all.

To see the history of the Heritage Woodlands in an exciting and easy-to-understand way, go to the interactive Heritage Woodland history on this website.


Our Sustainable woodlands

All our forests and woodlands are important in the battle against climate change.

Click on the picture to explore how trees and timber can help to save our planet

Wildlife in our Woods

Because of their age, the Heritage Woodlands are of great value to wildlife. They contain many different trees and shrubs and are rich in flowering plants such as bluebell and wood anemone, some of which are only found in ancient woodlands. They also provide a home for many different kinds of animal, including birds, mammals and a widerange of invertebrates.


Here are some pictures of animals and birds that you might spot in the woods. Click on each picture to show a factfile on the animal or bird.


All 35 of the Heritage Woodlands are owned by local councils and are freely open to people of all ages. They lie close to the homes of large numbers of people and make an important contribution to these people's lives, in terms of health, recreation and employment. They also form a valuable 'outdoor classroom' for use by local schools.

For more information on the individual woodlands in the Fuelling a Revolution programme, click on the Heritage Woodlands Map.

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