BCA’s Regeneration and Healing in Buxton’s Community Woods scheme is one of 68 projects nationwide to get a share in the £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund.
Just some parts of BCA’s large project include woodland restoration, a wellbeing activity programme, a new community theatre experience, an expanded Forest Schools programme and nature-based play facilities.
BCA said the money will also create three new jobs, adding: “There will be diverse training and volunteer and work experience opportunities - most suitable for young people.”
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The group say an influx of woodland users during lockdown for ‘play, solace and spiritual refreshment’ highlighted the need to conserve its nine community woodlands.
A spokesman said: “This project will accelerate that, enabling us to reach more people faster, while responding to the ash dieback crisis.
“With our partners and the community we will create flourishing woodlands with enhanced biodiversity and build ecological, social and economic resilience.”
BCA Chairman, Peter Phillipson said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this grant.
“This year our core funding has been hit badly but it is essential that we plan for the future and we are extremely excited by the projects that will be enabled through this funding.
“The money will provide us with a brilliant opportunity to help bring even more people into our woods in Buxton and to give them all the healing benefits that result from close contact with nature.
“At the same time it enables us to redress some of the devastation caused in the last two years by Ash dieback disease and to kickstart the process of regenerating the woods for the future.
“We are pleased that it will give us a chance not only to provide employment for three new members of staff but also provide an opportunity to support some local green freelancers and will support several small local environmental arts and wellbeing organisations.”
The funding comes as part of the Government's commitment to build back greener after the pandemic - including commitments to increase tree-planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by 2025.