Woodland wonders

Greenbelt is proud to take the reigns at historic developments

There are thousands of lush green spaces and wonderful woodlands across Britain . . . and here at Greenbelt we are delighted to add a couple more to the growing number we help to maintain.

First up is “Otters Bank”, situated beside the scenic Grand Union Canal in Leicester. A Bloor Homes Greenspace development, Greenbelt is scheduled to assume responsibility of the site. Alongside cultivating the glorious wildflower meadow there, our focus at Otters Bank will be on native shrub planting and maintaining the amenity grass, existing trees and equipped play area.

We make no secret of our love for native woodlands and so are delighted to be taking the reigns at Burton Woods in Spennymoor, Co. Durham. Located at Whitworth Park on the former Whitworth Estate, Burton Woods is a 600-unit Barratt David Wilson development­ – and is nestled right in the heart of 100 acres of enchanting woodland. And this is not just any old woodland: much of the 100 acres is situated on remnant “Planted Ancient Woodland Site”, which provides a vital habitat for a variety of flora and fauna.

As well as supporting life that has evolved and developed over long timescales, ancient woodlands are uniquely placed to house vulnerable plants and animals too, given their relatively undisturbed soils and consistently stable conditions.

It’s not just the flora and fauna that get to enjoy ancient woodlands. They are magical places to explore, particularly in the spring and summer months when they become a real feast for the senses. Residents at the Burton Woods development are likely to be treated to spectacular displays of flowers such as bluebells and celandines, which are a common sight in Spring, while the aroma of wild garlic in Summer is sure to tease tastebuds.

And, if being located on prime ancient woodlands isn’t enough, the Burton Woods development also boasts a very proud history. The Whitworth Estate is owned by Bobby Shaftoe – a descendant of the original Bobby Shaftoe who featured in a popular children’s nursery rhyme, and also has strong industrial heritage from coal mining activities up to the 1950s. Old tub-ways have been sympathetically turned into footpaths, and link the development to the nearby River Wear.

Alongside Greenbelt, the residents of Burton Woods are to be very much hands-on with the management and maintenance of the site. As well as maintaining internal areas of open space located in and around the development, residents will assist with the management of the brand new Bio-Park, designed to enhance the bio-diversity of the area and support the wealth of emerging habitats.

From wonderful waterside green space to enchanting ancient forests, it’s going to be a busy summer here at Greenbelt!