It will form part of a new VisitWoods’ project, with around 20 groups ushering in new audiences of young and older people and people with disabilities to woods.
The VisitWoods’ team will launch the website in 2010 as a “gateway” to site-based information, searchable maps, free downloadable resources, comments and pictures.
Woodland Trust estimates that more than 33 million people in the UK live within 4km of a large wood. But children, older people and people with disabilities are least likely to visit.
“By forming partnerships and understanding the barriers to potential visitors, we aim to help give people inspiration and confidence,” says project director Jill Attenborough.
VisitWoods will train a network of volunteers to generate “inspiring new content on woods” throughout the UK and provide peer-to-peer online support for new visitors.
Helen Phillips, chief executive of Natural England, said: “We believe we will be opening new doors of opportunity for many groups who previously felt excluded.”
Source: Horticulture Week