Smithills Estate Appeal

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Welcome to Smithills, the largest Woodland Trust site in England.

Thanks to the fantastic generosity of thousands of Woodland Trust supporters, we raised the £1.5m needed to buy two thirds of the Smithills Estate in 2015. Since then we’ve been getting to know the estate and have carried out a wide range of surveys to help us learn about it and decide on our plans to restore this special place.

Funding success 

Thanks to what we’ve achieved so far and our ambitious plans for its transformation, we’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded us an incredible £1.9 million in September 2017!

This is amazing news, but before we can finish the job of turning Smithills into a truly diverse and resilient landscape for wildlife and people, we need to bring the whole site under our ownership.

The journey continues

We have until the end of 2017 to complete the purchase of the remainder of the estate. We’re confident of securing a good proportion of the funds we need from other sources, but we’re seeking a further £300,000 to ensure our careful, long term plans to revitalise Smithills can become reality. It’s such an exciting time and we’re getting so close to raising the funds we need to secure Smithills' future for people and wildlife.

This is a massive project, unlike anything we’ve tackled before in England, and we have bold plans for the estate. We’ll double woodland cover and restore other important habitats like the heathland and moorland. And we’ll significantly improve the paths and signage to give people the confidence to explore, as well as adding interesting interpretation to bring Smithills' fascinating history to life.

Our 2016 bioblitz helped us to identify hundreds of species resident at Smithills (Photo: WTML)

A landscape on the edge

Smithills Estate is a mosaic of grassland, woodland, moorland and bog habitats. But this precious upland ecosystem has been neglected, overgrazed and mismanaged, damaged and degraded by centuries of exploitation. Its biodiversity has reduced and wildlife is vulnerable.

We’ve come a long way – now you can help us finish the job

With your help we can secure these additional funds now and protect this amazing landscape, transforming it in to a thriving place that makes a real, lasting difference for people and wildlife.

We’ll work with a range of experts to put our plans into practice, reviving Smithills to become a shining example of how all our uplands can be transformed and how trees can help sustain and improve the wider landscape.

Support us today and play your part in Smithills' revival

Want to donate by post?

Simply download our offline form and pop it in the post to us, free of charge.