I knew before my visit that Smithills Estate was the Trust's largest site in England. But on an unusually sunny day, the enormous, rugged landscape with far-reaching views across to Bolton and Manchester still took me by surprise. What an incredible place! Combined with the variety of valuable habitat here - from grassland and moorland to wooded ravines and bogs - this site really is a treasure trove for wildlife and people.

Join me to meet the Trust's Tracey and Vicky, who tell us all about the work being done to transform and revitalise Smithills. We talk leaky dams, planting the right trees in the right places and involving the local community at every turn.

We learn about the mass trespass of 1896, and the site's connections with coal miners, tile workers and cotton millers. 

Volunteers Pete and Alex give us insight into their roles at Smithills over the years. They share other fascinating stories too - among them a ghostly horseman, perished Saxon sons and the six-foot sword of Egbordene!

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New to the podcast?

Don’t miss our previous episodes:

  1. Heartwood - the largest new native woodland in England
  2. Loch Arkaig - the wilderness of an ancient pine forest, set among lochs and mountains
  3. Trees on farms - how trees are making a difference for one Nottinghamshire farmer
  4. Ben Shieldaig - a great example of Scotland’s rainforest and the Trust’s first mountain!
  5. Urban trees - discover the urban woods and trees of Leeds
  6. Joyden's Wood, Kent - a tranquil ancient woodland right on London’s doorstep.

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Please subscribe to the podcast if you want to hear more adventures in the woodlands of the UK and don’t forget to rate us or leave a review!

I am keen to hear from you as well – so if you have a favourite woodland walk, do tell me about it in a short email or if you can, make a 5 minute or so recording of your own walk and we may feature your woodland walk in a future podcast.

I’ll be off on another woodland walk soon. Hope you can join me.

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