Corby’s ancient town centre woodlands have been chosen as part of a nationwide network of 70 areas to be dedicated to The Queen in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee.
Hazel and Thoroughsale Woods have been recognised in the initiative launched by Prince Charles, Patron of The Queen’s Green Canopy, recognising 70 ancient woodlands and 70 ancient trees that will form part of the Ancient Canopy to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years of service.
The urban woodland resumed being actively managed in 2012 through the Woodland Project with support from the Friends of Thoroughsale and Hazel Woods.
Much of the practical management work is undertaken by the woodland manager, two parks and woodland rangers and more than 50 regular volunteers.
Cllr Harriet Pentland, North Northamptonshire Council’s executive member for climate and green environment, said: “Since 2012, the team have worked very hard to transform what was an underutilised woodland into a safe and welcoming, Green Flag recognised, green space enjoyed by many.
“We are extremely proud that this work has now been recognised with the woodland being chosen as one of the national network of 70 ancient woodlands to be dedicated to The Queen.“
Covering more than 76 hectares Hazel and Thoroughsale Woods is a complex of woodland, scrub and grassland in the heart of Corby close to the town and the civic centre.
It is estimated to date back to about 800AD and is largely composed of ash and oak trees, with some conifers. It was largely unmanaged through the last century, with active management resuming in 2012.
Cllr Helen Howell, the council’s deputy leader and executive member for sport, leisure, culture and tourism, said: “Thank you to all our staff and volunteers for their hard work and I am so pleased that their work and the woodland has been nationally recognised.
“Alongside this ancient woodland, trees have been planted across north Northamptonshire by our teams, community groups and volunteers, and they will be legacy to Her Majesty the Queen for years to come.”
Hazel and Thoroughsale Woods are visible from key routes, including Westcott Way, Cottingham Road, Willow Brook Road and Jubilee Avenue.
Cllr Jason Smithers, leader of the council, added: “Hazel and Thoroughsale Woods really is a woodland gem in north Northamptonshire and a special place at the heart of the community in Corby.
“I am so pleased that it is being nationally recognised and we are so proud to have such a wonderful asset right on our doorstep.”
By sharing the stories behind the ancient woodlands and trees, as well as the incredible efforts that are made to protect them, The Queen’s Green Canopy project aims to raise awareness of these treasured habitats and the importance of conserving them for future generations.
James Saunders Watson, Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, said: “I am delighted to hear that the Hazel and Thoroughsale Woods in Corby have been named as one of the Queen’s Green Canopy ancient woodlands to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. This is a very special accolade for these important historic woodlands which now sit at the heart of Corby town.”