OUT of its 1,200 woods, the Woodland Trust has chosen Dutton Park in Cheshire to be January’s Wood of the Month.

The wood will be promoted on the trust’s website as well as by Cheshire and Merseyside site manager Clare Burnside.

She said: “It’s fantastic for Dutton Park to be chosen as one of the trust’s Woods of the Month for 2013.

“January can seem like quite an uninspiring month nature-wise, but Dutton Park has something to offer at all times of the year.

“The 60ft-tall, 175-year-old Dutton Viaduct is spectacular, and the River Weaver provides an important wildlife corridor, where otters and water voles may be found.

“And, of course, kestrels and buzzards can be spotted in the skies overhead at any time of the year.”

The park covers nearly 50 acres, ranging from grassy wetland by the river, to ancient woodland and flat, grassy expanses.

Visitors can enjoy a wander up from the well-maintained paths along the river to the sloping ancient woodland to reach the flourishing meadows, where the course of the ‘old’ river can be seen in the preponderance of ponds, where amphibian life now proliferates.

Since the Woodland Trust acquired the site in 2006, they’ve taken measures to preserve the ancient woodland and to encourage native species to regenerate following overgrazing.

Thanks to the support of Cheshire Wildlife Trust, biodiversity has also been improved with the introduction of a herd of rare-breed longhorn cattle, vital to maintaining a diverse habitat, whose grazing has helped to re-establish many wild flowers, which will be in abundance later in the year – giving the visitor a great reason to return in warmer weather.

For more information visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/dutton; or, if you would like to dedicate a tree or an area of woodland at this site, visit www.woodlandtrustshop.com/dedications-groupfunds.