Community wood officially opened in Winston, near Barnard Castle (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Community wood officially opened in Winston, near Barnard Castle
A PROJECT which began in the final days of the last millennium has grown into a new community wood.
With the trees now matured, the wood, at Winston, near Barnard Castle, has been officially opened.
It was created as part of the Winston Millenium Green project to transform a five acre field and two acres of ancient woodland next to the Tees into an area for people to enjoy.
While the field was opened on June 2000, part was fenced off and planted with oak and sweet chestnuts, which were grown from seedlings by villagers before being planted out in November 1999.
To mark the opening of the wood, the Millennium Green Trust received£20,000 from local councillors James Rowlandson and George Richardson and the Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership to commission stonework from Teesdale sculptor Ewan Allinson.
Mr Allinson created a piece of carved sandstone at the entrance to the path at the gates of St Andrew's Church which leads down to the wood and after researching village history, he made a hermit's cell at the entrance to the wood.
Mr Allinson said he had discovered details of an abandoned hermitage upstream from the village.
“As a sculptor, I am fascinated by the early Christian tradition of seeking union with nature through isolation," he said.
“This is a tradition that did exist in the area and it harks back to as time when hermits were to be found. I just thought it was a lovely theme to pick and create something that could pull people towards the wood.”
The money also covered the costs of creating a trail through the wood, benches and new fencing.
Mr Allinson joined members of the Millennium Green Trust committee, led by Mike Taylor, and the chairman of the Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership, Will Weston, at the opening of the wood.
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