Five-year grant will help to transform woodland area into a wildlife haven

MONEY has been awarded by the Forestry Commission to
help transform a stretch of woodland in Doncaster into a wildlife haven.

A grant of £44,000 is being awarded for five years of work aimed at enhancing the biodiversity of land at Kings Wood in Austerfield, near Bawtry.

Improvements will be made to the woodland, as well as improving access for people.

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Coun Bob Johnson, Doncaster Council’s cabinet member for culture and leisure, said: “Woodlands and parks are a very popular recreation resource for people here in Doncaster. But, at the same time as welcoming people to these outdoor areas, we are always looking at how we can boost the array of wildlife, too.

“The aim of this Forestry Commission funding is to remove selected non-native species to create open glades through the wood. This will be of huge benefit to a host of wildlife, in particular species of butterfly.

“Replanting selected glades and areas through the wood with a mixture of native tree species will enhance the age structure and diversity of the woodland, along with undertaking pollarding works to some of the veteran chestnut and oak trees. A hedge will also be planted along the railway boundary, creating another corridor for wildlife and enhancing the woodland edge.

“There will also be path improvements throughout the wood, along with the installation of benches and interpretive signs/notice boards.”

Doncaster Council said there would be plenty of opportunities for volunteers to help out with this work – including chopping down trees, planting trees or helping to establish a Friends of Kings Wood group.

Anyone wanting more details should contact Ranger Dennis Roe, on 07717 701296, or visit Doncaster Council’s Countryside pages on the website www.doncaster.gov.uk

Also, there are opportunities to get involved in practical woodland management and conservation tasks.

Anyone wanting to take part will be able to join staff every Wednesday and Friday from 9am, up until December 20.