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Thornley Woods to be part of Ancient Canopy to celebrate Platinum Jubilee

Thornley Woods

The Queen's Green Canopy (QGC) has just announced all the 70 ancient woodlands and 70 ancient trees across the United Kingdom which will form part of the Ancient Canopy to celebrate Her Majesty's 70 years of service.

The initiative was originally launched by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who is Patron of The Queen's Green Canopy.

Thornley Woods stands between Rowlands Gill and Winlaton Mill, close to the A694 Lockhaugh Road.

It is one of just two ancient woodlands in the North East and Yorkshire featuring as part of the Ancient Canopy nationwide.

Much of Thornley Woods is classified as 'Ancient Woodland' and its history dates back to at least 1600. Only 2.5% of the UK is classed as ancient woodland. It forms a unique and irreplaceable habitat supporting a rich and complex community of plants, fungi, insects and other micro-organisms. Ancient woodlands, including Thornley Woods, often retain important archaeological features, including from past industry.

In addition to its significant ecological value, the site at Thornley Woods forms a key component of the Derwent Walk Country Park. The site also forms a major attraction within the Land of Oak and Iron - a heritage centre working to provide insight and training centred on the area's rich history and present ecosystem services.

Next month the Land of Oak and Iron will host one of the official Jubilee Beacons which will be lit at 9.45pm on Thursday 2 June 2022 by local MP Liz Twist.

Kevin Hills, technical and bereavement services manager for Environment and Fleet, Housing, Environment and Healthy Communities, said: "We're so pleased to have Thornley Woods included in the Queen's Green Canopy network of ancient woodlands.

"It's a recognition of the huge value these habitats have, both for the health of our environment and for the wellbeing of our communities.

"We know how much residents in Gateshead love and appreciate the extensive woodlands and green spaces we manage, and we are committed to extending that provision through initiatives such as the Queens' Green Canopy and the North East Community Forest (NECF)."

In Gateshead, as well as contributing to the NECF we also have a borough-wide target. As part of our response to the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis, we have committed to planting 100,000 trees by 2030 and increasing woodland cover in the borough from the current figure of 15% to 17% by 2050.

Earlier this spring, two young trees were planted in Saltwell Park in Gateshead, as part of the Queen's Green Canopy, in a ceremony led by the Lord-Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Susan Winfield, alongside the Mayor of Gateshead, Councillor Dorothy Burnett.

The Queen's Green Canopy says the woodlands and trees chosen for its ancient woodlands represent the diverse canopy of the four nations of the United Kingdom, as a celebration of the country's living heritage.

Some are famous specimens and others like Thornley Wood have a local significance. The QGC aims to draw attention to how these ancient natural spaces hold significance and meaning for many people in many different ways.

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 aims to raise awareness of treasured habitats and the importance of conserving them for future generations.

Thornley Woods
29 April 2022

The Queen's Green Canopy (QGC) has just announced all the 70 ancient woodlands and 70 ancient trees across the United Kingdom which will form part of the Ancient Canopy to celebrate Her Majesty's 70 years of service.

The initiative was originally launched by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who is Patron of The Queen's Green Canopy.

Thornley Woods stands between Rowlands Gill and Winlaton Mill, close to the A694 Lockhaugh Road.

It is one of just two ancient woodlands in the North East and Yorkshire featuring as part of the Ancient Canopy nationwide.

Much of Thornley Woods is classified as 'Ancient Woodland' and its history dates back to at least 1600. Only 2.5% of the UK is classed as ancient woodland. It forms a unique and irreplaceable habitat supporting a rich and complex community of plants, fungi, insects and other micro-organisms. Ancient woodlands, including Thornley Woods, often retain important archaeological features, including from past industry.

In addition to its significant ecological value, the site at Thornley Woods forms a key component of the Derwent Walk Country Park. The site also forms a major attraction within the Land of Oak and Iron - a heritage centre working to provide insight and training centred on the area's rich history and present ecosystem services.

Next month the Land of Oak and Iron will host one of the official Jubilee Beacons which will be lit at 9.45pm on Thursday 2 June 2022 by local MP Liz Twist.

Kevin Hills, technical and bereavement services manager for Environment and Fleet, Housing, Environment and Healthy Communities, said: "We're so pleased to have Thornley Woods included in the Queen's Green Canopy network of ancient woodlands.

"It's a recognition of the huge value these habitats have, both for the health of our environment and for the wellbeing of our communities.

"We know how much residents in Gateshead love and appreciate the extensive woodlands and green spaces we manage, and we are committed to extending that provision through initiatives such as the Queens' Green Canopy and the North East Community Forest (NECF)."

In Gateshead, as well as contributing to the NECF we also have a borough-wide target. As part of our response to the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis, we have committed to planting 100,000 trees by 2030 and increasing woodland cover in the borough from the current figure of 15% to 17% by 2050.

Earlier this spring, two young trees were planted in Saltwell Park in Gateshead, as part of the Queen's Green Canopy, in a ceremony led by the Lord-Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Susan Winfield, alongside the Mayor of Gateshead, Councillor Dorothy Burnett.

The Queen's Green Canopy says the woodlands and trees chosen for its ancient woodlands represent the diverse canopy of the four nations of the United Kingdom, as a celebration of the country's living heritage.

Some are famous specimens and others like Thornley Wood have a local significance. The QGC aims to draw attention to how these ancient natural spaces hold significance and meaning for many people in many different ways.

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 aims to raise awareness of treasured habitats and the importance of conserving them for future generations.

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