Access to an ancient Norfolk woodland has been improved, thanks to a grant of more than £25,000.

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Norfolk Wildlife Trust received the £26,500 from the Veolia Environment Trust to enhance access and facilities at Lower Wood, Ashwellthorpe, near Wymondham.

The funding, awarded through the Landfill Communities Fund, has allowed the trust to install a new access track, pedestrian path and car park. Fencing and gates have also been installed and a new native hedgerow planted.

New signage and interpretation will help visitors explore the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), which is one of the county’s few remaining ancient woodlands. Lower Wood contains diverse ground flora including a number of uncommon species such as herb Paris, early purple orchid and common twayblade.

Additional work will include coppicing and tree management to improve the habitat. Rosemary’s Meadow, which adjoins the entrance to the wood, has recently been bequeathed to the wildlife trust.

The project has received additional support from the Geoffrey Watling Charity, Forestry Commission and UK Power Networks.

Brendan Joyce, chief executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, said: “The grants have enabled NWT to create a better, safer and more enjoyable visitor experience for the thousand visitors already using the site, and will hopefully encourage more visitors to discover this part of Norfolk. NWT will now be able to expand activities and involve more people in helping to improve and care for this stunning local treasure.”

The Wymondham Nature Group, a Norfolk Wildlife Trust Local Members’ Group, regularly organises volunteer days to help with management of the site, as well as organising guided walks and events.

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