Oasis opens for wild children

Alan Wright

A Woodland Oasis where young people can play and get closer to nature has opened in Lancashire.
Around the fire, LWT's Katie Dearden with Alicia, Katelyn, Daisy and Kiera of Lostock Hall

Alan Wright

Booth’s Plantation, in Hutton, is the first of three beauty spots in the county to be transformed into “safe and sustainable” open spaces for young people.

And the Lord Lieutenant Lord Shuttleworth, accompanied by Lady Shuttleworth, opened the Woodland Oasis, joining in activities with local guides, brownies, scouts and beavers.

Entering the Woodland Oasis, front Anne Selby, LWT, Lord and Lady Shuttleworth and Kathryn Phillips

Alan Wright

Lancashire Wildlife Trust Chair Steve Garland said: “We want young people to get out into nature and the Woodland Oasis is a great example of how we are helping to do this - creating habitats not just for wildlife but to allow people, both young and old, to engage with nature. This is what we, the Wildlife Trusts, do. And we need to thank Young Lancashire for providing the funding.”

Chair of Young Lancashire, Andrew Pratt said: “This is a fantastic partnership project between two charities. We have people here today from six-months-old to more than 80-years-old enjoying this woodland.

“We have County Council representatives here today who will can see just how well money can be spent to benefit young people. And we have a medical professional, who can go back to work and tell colleagues to get people off the tranquilisers and into the woods.”

The oasis covers a large area of land, owned by the National Grid, and begins with a walk through the woods, presently lined with bluebells, to the Viking Hut and camp. Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers, led by Senior Education Project Officer Kathryn Phillips, have worked tirelessly for weeks to provide areas for safe fires and woodland games and crafts.

Planting a tree - Lord Shuttleworth plants a commemorative tree

Alan Wright

At the opening young people took part in a series of events and made wood crafts, before toasting buns and mashmallows over the fires.

Lord and Lady Shuttleworth were keen to get involved in cooking the marshmallows. After planting a ceremonial tree, Lord Shuttleworth said: “I know what it is like to go into a wood and find tranquillity and listen and experience everything that is in there. I am delighted to be here and what an opportunity this is going to be for people living in the area.”

The Woodland Oasis is bookable by contacting The Lancashire Wildlife Trust education team at www.lancswt.org.uk or emailing eduadmin@lancswt.org.uk