The web-site called VisitWoods, will feature clear symbols to indicate to cyclists which woods are suitable for bike users, as well as have car-parks, toilets and free public access.
The project has taken a giant leap forward after securing grant funding of £1.2 million awarded by Natural England through ‘Access to Nature’ – funded by £25m from the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces programme.
This funding has enabled the Trust to recruit a specialist team which has been tasked with creating the ground-breaking website by autumn this year.
However, the Trust is still seeking sponsorship from companies in the cycling industry, which would be able to promote their support for the information service, which will benefit communities throughout the UK.
Dave Bloor, from the Woodland Trust’s corporate partnerships team, said: “There is a great natural fit between VisitWoods and companies which cater for the cycling industry, because this service will help cycling enthusiasts find new, exciting and appropriate places to ride their bikes.
“They will no longer have to scour an out of date map of the local area, but simply type into their computer where they live and let the VisitWoods website find all of the woods near to them.
“The Trust’s aim is for VisitWoods to become a vital public service brought to life by an inspirational communications campaign promoting woodland to millions of people. Any companies which would like to support the project should contact the Woodland Trust on 01476 581 112.”
VisitWoods will work with at least 20 partner organisations representing young people, older people and people with disabilities to bring woods to new audiences, including working particularly with Action for Children and Walking the Way to Health Initiative.
The Woodland Trust: The Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity. It has 300,000 members and supporters. The Trust has four key aims: i) No further loss of ancient woodland; ii) Restoring and improving the biodiversity of woods; iii) Increasing new native woodland; iv) Increasing people’s understanding and enjoyment of woodland.
Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering approximately 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres). Access to its sites is free. Further news can be found atwww.woodlandtrust.org.uk
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