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The ProgrammeFuelling a Revolution
Log pile in Wheata Wood
Restoring the woodlands often involves the felling of trees.

'Fuelling a Revolution - the woods that founded the steel country' is a five-year long project to restore 35 Heritage Woodlands across the South Yorkshire Forest.

Having been used for hundreds of years to produce materials for building, farming and industry, the woods have more recently become neglected. Because this has reduced their value for both people and wildlife, woodland management work is being carried out to restore the woodlands to their former glory. Some of this work involves the felling of carefully selected trees in order to let more light through to the woodland floor and so allow the growth of wildflowers and young trees.

Although all 35 of the Heritage Woodlands are already open to the public, access is being improved further by the resurfacing of paths and the construction of gates and stiles. In this work, there is a particular emphasis on improving access to the woodlands for wheelchair users and families with pushchairs. It is also sometimes necessary to take steps to prevent activities that damage the woodlands, for example the dumping of cars and other rubbish, and damage to footpaths by motorcyclists.

Through special events, leaflets and this website, people of all ages are being told about the history and wildlife of the Heritage Woodlands and being encouraged to play an active part in looking after these. Education work with local schools is an important part of the programme, with local schools being encouraged to use the woodlands as an 'outdoor classroom' through accompanied visits and the production of education materials.

The money to pay for the Fuelling a Revolution programme has come from the National Lottery, as well as from the councils covering Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield. By the year 2005, over two million pounds will have been spent on restoring the 35 Heritage Woodlands.

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