Tropical seas & hidden archaeology - Blackhouse Wood

Monday 11th July 2016

View from Blackhouse Wood (c) Paul LaneView from Blackhouse Wood (c) Paul Lane

The geology and archaeology of a Worcestershire woodland are to be explored on two guided walks this summer.

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust has joined forces with the Earth Heritage Trust and Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service to offer the walks. Blackhouse Wood, Suckley, was purchased by the Trust in 2015 following their most successful public appeal.

Hannah Thomas, the Trust’s engagement officer, explained “These two walks promise to be absolutely fascinating for anyone who is interested in Worcestershire’s landscape and history.

“Both the Earth Heritage Trust and Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service have done extensive research into the woodland and it’s local environment so the walks will be full of information and will be able to put Blackhouse Wood in its wider context.”

Tropical seas & burgeoning industry

Blackhouse Wood (c) Paul LaneBlackhouse Wood is a great site to examine the remains of a lost quarrying industry that supplied lime for building and agriculture in the area. Looking much further back in time, evidence for tropical seas and great continental collisions are writ large on the landscape.

The second of the two walks will look at the hidden archaeology; the high ridge of land has long been associated with human activity that includes farming and industry.

The walk will look beyond the woodlands to the wider landscape where the stories of prehistoric hillforts, medieval hamlets, 17th Century farms and early industry take shape.

Trees are often living archaeology along and have their own stories to tell of how people have shaped and worked the landscape throughout history.

Woodland restoration

Blackhouse Wood was purchased last August with help from the public, Heritage Lottery Fund, Severn Waste Services through the Landfill Communities Fund and a number of trust funds.

The conservation charity has begun the process of returning the woodland to its former glory.

Hannah continued “As part of our restoration work we’ll be clearing some of the conifers planted in the post-war period and replacing them with native trees. This work will also help the lime trees in the wood – some of which are several hundred years old and provide a fantastic habitat for wildlife as well as important features in the landscape.

“Blackhouse Wood and the Suckley Hills are a really important link through our countryside, from the Malvern Hills to the Wyre Forest. The walks will look at how this has come to be and why it’s been important throughout our history.”

The Geology of Blackhouse Wood with the Earth Heritage Trust will take place on Sunday 17th July between 10am and 12pm. The Archaeology and History of Blackhouse Wood with the Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service will take place on Thursday 18th August between 6.30pm and 8.30pm. Each walk costs £6.00 per person and booking is essential on 01905 754919 or by emailing hannah@worcestershirewildlifetrust.org

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