Accessibility Statement
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Longdendale Heritage Trust

Longdendale is a valley split between several administrations, the northern area containing Woodhead, Crowden and Tintwistle is shared between High Peak and the National Park Authority and comes within the planned Management and Protection of the Peak Park Plan. The remainder is in Tameside and embraces the villages of Hollingworth, Mottram and Broadbottom together with the surrounding farming and moorland areas. Except for broad statements in the late GMC's structure plan underlying work requirement, there was no authority undertaking a management programme within this area in the 1980s.

Longdendale Heritage Trust was formed to fill this vacuum and was actively engaged in a Land Management Work Programme from 1984. With the support of the MSC and Tameside Community Programme Unit with a 20 strong team; it was able to improve several miles of footpaths, erecting stiles and signposts, draining wet areas, laying hedges and rebuilding dry stone walls.

In the voluntary sector, it planted up several acres of trees, creating Suzanne's Wood, Adam's Wood and Rebecca's Wood on land under Management Agreements with local farmers; it also managed 30 acres on which it had nurseries and woodland. National bodies within the environmental sphere have been very complimentary about the quality of work undertaken by the Trust's work team, as have regional and local groups.

At the beginning of April 1987, the Trust commenced a Farm and Countryside Initiative supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, MSC and Tameside CP Unit. It employed a 50 person team to work within the area stretching from the Deep Cutting at Mottram to Hollingworth Hall Farm on the border of the Peak Park. A great variety of work was undertaken, planting woodland, repairing dry stone walls, hedge laying, pond clearing, footpath repair, erection of stiles, signposts, post and rail fencing, post and wire fencing, track laying and drainage.

Through it's initiative in engaging 50 unemployed people and paying them wages and buying materials locally, the Trust instigated the investment of hundreds of thousands of public money into Longdendale. Together with this amount was money contributed by North West Water, National Westminster Bank, Countryside Commission, Tameside MBC, the farming community and local commerce, Lockerbie Trust, and the Mersey Basin Campaign. In the last year of CP, Longdendale Heritage Trust allocated five thousand pounds to fund a training programme in rural crafts that enabled the unemployed to gain useful experience which made them attractive as future employees in the rural area.

Since September 1988 when Employment Training came into force, the Trust worked with a Training Manager in order to continue the Trust's Environmental Programme; the restrictive boundary within Tameside no longer existed, this enabled the Trust to undertake projects within the Peak Park section of Longdendale or wherever it was required. Projects and contracts have been undertaken for local authorities, private utilities, companies, the farming community and individuals. Work involved dry stone walling, hedge laying, drainage, bridge building, footpath renewal, making and siting stiles, signs, way markers, picnic tables, post and rail, post and wire fencing and tree planting. A number of trainees were placed with companies that engage in this form of work, having been engaged in practical projects that have a real work content, trainees have gained considerable experience.

Since the changed structure of Government Training the Dry Stone Trust has relied on local residents and schools to assist in it's projects. Within the period since then a number of projects have taken place such as:- creation of Rosie's Wood, Peter's Wood, Stacey's Wood and Childrens Forest, also the planting of 40 12 ft Lime Trees to form an avenue along Footpath 38 commemorating the Queen's 40th Anniversary on the throne. All undertaken with the help of local schools, totalling 7,500 trees. New funding has come from Barclays Bank, Cheshire Building Society, Millennium Lottery Fund, Unilever and others.

Contacting the public is done in other ways, through our range of publications, our exhibitions of local artists representing the local scene in their work and photographic studies of different areas in the Dale under the titles of "Our Valley", "Our Church", "Treesagreen", "Tinsl - a sense of Place", "Top o'th Dale", "Treacle Street and Beyond", together with slide shows showing the work of the Trust. The Trust has copied all the Tithe Maps in our area to the exact size which have attracted great interest and assisted in tracing families. They are also used by us for lectures on the subject.

Recent projects include a "Wild Life Corridor" at Landslow Green Farm, a "Kissing Gate Trail, consisting of ten steel gates funded by Help the Aged. The Trust was actively engaged in practical work which helped Mottram Village be a runner up in the Britain in Bloom competition. We are pleased that our campaigning has had two positive effects with the local authority. Tameside MBC has formed a Footpaths Forum on which we have a place and they have appointed a Footpaths Officer. Secondly the Council has drawn up a management plan for Etherow Lodge in Hollingworth, the home of the late Bill Sowerbutts of Gardeners Question Time fame. They made a successful bid for £50,000 to the Lottery Fund, and added £9,000 from council resources to regenerate the water feature in the garden and undertake other necessary work.

A number of planting projects are being planned by the Trust. It has made a successful bid to Awards for All for £5,000 to rebuild an old broken down dry stone wall at Cock Wood. North West Water are supplying trees to be planted behind the wall to regenerate this ancient wood. The trust has grown on several hundred acorns to be planted out by three local schools as young oak trees. A large multi medium exhibition with the working title of "Look Again" is in the process of being created and funding has been requested.

The Trust is initiating a large rock garden in the village of Hollingworth and has negotiated free stone from Mouselow Quarry. We shall be cooperating with the Local Authority in their "Gateway Project" by assisting in its implementation in Longdendale and encouraging craftsman built village signs for Hollingworth, Mottram and Broadbottom.

This information was provided by Mr. W. Johnson of the Longdendale Heritage Trust.

Telephone 01457 763555

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