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Registry - Project Details
Smithills Phase 1 (ID: 104000000014134)
The iconic 1700-acre (688-hectare) Smithills Estate is the largest site ever acquired in England by the Woodland Trust. Steeped in history and shadowed by the famous Winter Hill TV mast, it’s a rich mosaic of grassland, farmland, moorland, wooded cloughs and bog habitats, crisscrossed by dry stone walls, with panoramic views over Bolton to Manchester who have access to the site. We will increase visitor numbers as a flagship site for the communities around the site and further afield.
Many features are in need of restoration, such as the dry stone walls and paths and the dried-out blanket bogs, but the key reason for the Trust is to link and buffer Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland in a landscape of fragmented habitats.
In July 2015 two thirds of the Smithills Estate was acquired through a fund-raising appeal which the people of Bolton responded to with generosity. Under our protection, the free public access which has always been so precious to local people, will be retained and improved across the estate.
We believe that preserving and enhancing the Smithills landscape is vitally important for people as well as wildlife. We will interpret the land's wealth of history, bringing its hidden and important industrial and archaeological features to life and add visitor signs about the site's industrial heritage.
Our woodland management approach to new planting will be light thinnings as canopy closure is achieved and beyond. There will be no clearfell areas and objectives will be achieved through gentle interventions thereby achieving sustainable woodland cover.