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Hazel and Thoroughsale Woods to be part of Ancient Canopy to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Queen's Green Canopy

03 May 2022

Corby Boating Lake

North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) is delighted that Hazel and Thoroughsale Woods has been chosen as part of a nationwide network of 70 Ancient Woodlands to be dedicated to The Queen in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee.

The Queen’s Green Canopy recently announced the network of 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 launched by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who is Patron of The Queen’s Green Canopy, under one of the Ancient Tree dedications - the old Sycamore located at Dumfries House in Scotland.

Hazel and Thoroughsale Woods is a 75ha complex of Ancient Woodland, woodland, scrub and grassland located in the centre of Corby and surrounded completely by built development including Corby town centre and the Corby Parkland Gateway civic quarter. It is estimated to date back to around 800AD and the woodland is largely composed of ash and oak trees, although conifers are also present. It was largely unmanaged through the last century, with active management resuming in 2012.

This beautiful woodland is actively managed by NNC 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 over 50 regular volunteers.

The project also hosts a National Lottery Heritage Funded Heritage Volunteer Officer post, which focusses on providing an all-inclusive thriving volunteer programme. Social engagement is as much a part of managing the woodlands as the operational delivery. There are 6 Friends Of groups in Corby with the Friends Of Hazel and Thoroughsale being the largest group, offering daily activities throughout the week for volunteers.

Since 2012, the team have worked very hard to transform what was an under-utilised 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.
Cllr Harriet Pentland, the council’s Executive Member for Climate and Green Environment
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.
Cllr Helen Howell, the council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism
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.
Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the council
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.James Saunders Watson Esq, Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire

Established over hundreds of years, the chosen woodlands and trees represent the diverse canopy of the four nations, it is a celebration of our living heritage. All the woodlands and trees have a story to tell. Some are famous specimens and others have a local significance.

These Ancient natural spaces hold significance and meaning for so many people in many different ways. They are symbols of community pride, places to connect socially and vital spaces for health and wellbeing activities.

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 these treasured habitats and the importance of conserving them for future generations.