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Woodland charity to safeguard ancient site close to old hospital

The Woodland Trust is to protect a 50-hectare former parkland adjacent to an old hospital in Northumberland so that nature can thrive into the future.

The UK’s largest woodland conservation charity will plant new trees at the South Park site, near Prudhoe, and give more protection for the existing ancient woodland. Kevin Fairclough, site manager at the Woodland Trust said that whilst there has been public access over recent years at the site, the charity is looking to enhance for people and wildlife and protect the historic features and ancient woodland. He said: “This is an exciting opportunity, a perfect piece of land to protect and enhance nature.

“Some of the planting we will do is around mature woods – these new trees will provide a buffer or protection, making the site more resilient to the likes of climate change. “The area is a great mix of existing old woodland, paths and watercourses along with open meadows and fields which we plan to enhance for the local community. “We very much want to bring local people into our plans as they will be able to enjoy the site, or even get involved in volunteering, for generations to come.” The historic site used to be a pleasure park as part of Prudhoe Hall prior to being a hospital, which at its peak had over 1,000 staff and 1,500 patients. The site closed in 2005 but with a few buildings remaining as part of the existing hospital. It has strong industrial heritage with wagonway (horse drawn railways) still evident in the woods and open meadow. Public consultation starts Friday – 14 October - in Prudhoe at St Mary Magdalene Parish Hall, 3 Front Street, Prudhoe, between 12 and 8pm. More on the Woodland Trust:

For more details on this release contact Andy Bond in the Woodland Trust press office on 07725480434

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