AN ORGANISATION which protects the wildlife habitats and heritage of the historic Sandstone Ridge in Cheshire has been granted charitable status.
The Sandstone Ridge Trust has had its status approved by the Charity Commission.
The ridge stretches from Frodsham and Helsby in the north part of Cheshire West and Chester to Bickerton Village in the south of the borough.
A group of six voluntary trustees have worked together with the support of officers from Cheshire West and Chester Council during the last 18 months to build on the work of the Heritage Lottery-funded Habitats and Hillforts programme.
The landscape partnership scheme delivered by a number of organisations enabled a wide range of activities to take place over the last three years.
These have included archaeological digs on the six Iron Age hillforts of the ridge, a replica Iron Age round house built in Burwardsley, educational workshops with schools about nature conservation and archaeology, community events, ‘hi-tech’ analyses of the landscape using airborne laser scanning (LiDAR) and theatre productions about the history of the Sandstone Ridge.
The Heritage Lottery Fund agreed to extend the project for another year but is very keen for it to leave a legacy, which has led to the development of the Sandstone Ridge Trust.
This is dedicated to continuing some of the work of the Habitats and Hillforts project but also looking for new opportunities and funding sources to deliver activities that will protect and enhance the natural habitats and historical heritage of the ridge.
Trust member Cllr Eleanor Johnson said: “The trustees of the Sandstone Ridge Trust are keen to build on the work that the Habitats and Hillforts programme has delivered so successfully by protecting and enhancing the natural and historic environment, improving public understanding and knowledge of the area and improving access to the beautiful Sandstone Ridge landscape.
“The trustees are also keen to encourage volunteers from the local area who are interested in nature conservation and or heritage in Cheshire to come forward with ideas for activities, to get involved with what’s on or to be kept informed of future opportunities.”
For further information, visit www.habitatsandhillforts.co.uk.