A BARNSLEY MP has lent her backing to a £1m campaign to buy the 400-year-old Greno Woods in north Sheffield and bring it back into public ownership.
Sheffield Wildlife Trust is planning to buy 418 acres of the 440-acre woodland, which has been in private ownership for two decades, and turn it into a “community-owned natural haven”.
The Labour MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, Angela Smith, has now backed the project after visiting the woods with representatives from the Wildlife Trust and its partner Silvapower Ltd, who together want to turn the woodland into a “centre of environmentally sound woodland management, carbon-neutral energy production, outdoor education, leisure and recreation”.
She said: “Greno Woods are a beautiful and rich part of our local natural heritage and they do many good things for local people, their health, wellbeing and the local economy.
“I hope very much that the trust succeeds, and I’d encourage anyone who can to help them.”
If the trust is successful in raising the cash, it will make the woods more accessible to visitors with new paths and signage boards. It will also clear some of the trees, which are currently overgrown and keeping out natural light.
The felled trees will then be used by Silvapower Ltd, which will covert the wood into an environmentally-friendly wood-chip biofuel.
The chief executive of the Wildlife Trust, Nigel Doar, said: “It’s important that we start to look at nature as the foundation of our economy and our health and wellbeing, rather than as a luxury to be visited and looked at only in special fenced-off places.”