Working to protect and enhance the Lickey Hills and their environs
You will be aware that a large number of trees have been felled on Cofton Hill – there were reports in the press and on BBC Midlands Today. The felling took place to help limit the spread of the plant viral disease phytophthora ramorum and to encourage the regeneration of heathland. Much of the timber went to sawmills whilst the brash was shredded and was used to create biomass for electricity generation. The company that carried out the work was on a ‘zero contract’ and there was no cost to the Country Park. In the felled areas, a few trees have been left to break up the skyline. On Rednal Hill where trees were felled a couple of years ago, bilberry is starting to regenerate and the heathland is becoming established. It is anticipated that the same will happen on Cofton Hill.
The Lickey Hills Local History Society has received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project, Hidden Heritage of the Lickey Hills. Awarded through HLF’s First World War: then and now programme, the project will focus on recording and researching buildings on Bilberry Hill in the Lickey Hills Country Park that date from the Great War. They are an unusual, possibly unique, collection, consisting of two gun butts for testing field guns, a partially demolished munitions store, a gun emplacement, two Army mess rooms and a toilet block. There were other buildings since lost - a bunker and a possible officers’ mess and stable block.
The project will be carried out in partnership with the Lickey Hills Society and the Birmingham Park Ranger Service. It will be supported by the Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology Service.
To mark the Centenary of the First World War, the project will enable local people in Lickey, Rednal and surrounding areas, to come together to uncover and preserve the heritage of this unique site from the First World War. As part of the project a variety of archive collections will be investigated to find out more about the type of work undertaken on the site during WW1 and also the military units that were involved. A key aim is that the work be carried out by volunteers within the community, with training offered in the various research and recording tasks being undertaken.
The information gathered will be used to create interpretation boards and a leaflet, as well as a teachers’ pack as an educational resource for school visits. The information will also be made available on the Country Park website and with relevant Museum and Archive collections.
This will allow the public to discuss, contribute, share and research information about the Home Front. The end of the Project will be marked with a series of events open to the public to share the results of the research.
Commenting on the award, Jill Harvey (Lickey Hills Local History Society) said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and can’t wait to start investigating, researching and recording the site".
If anyone would like to be involved, or has any photographs or information relating to the site, please contact the society - email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our new walks book ‘Exploring The Lickeys‘ was launched on 14th March 2017.
It is the product of several months hard work by members of the LHS Committee, the Rangers and Keith and Simon Woolford of Arch Media.
There are 68 pages containing details of 13 walks in and around the Lickey Hills Country Park. There is also a history timeline identifying events from as far back as the Ordovician period (over 480 million years ago) to the present day. Plus Heathland and Woodland Information, Children’s Activities Pages and more…
Copies can be purchased for £5 from The Visitor Centre in Warren Lane
© 2015 The Lickey Hills Society