Corby's Urban Woodlands
"Our Woods" focused on the natural heritage of Corby’s woodlands, which are extensive, unusually in the centre of the town, and whose history and function in the heart of the local community stretches back many centuries to pre-Roman times. They are also classed as Ancient Woodland!
The woodlands covered by our project were:
• Kings Wood
• Hazel Wood and Thoroughsale Woods
• Rockingham Castle Woods
They are all a striking part of Corby’s historic natural heritage and of national significance. We explored this in the context of Rockingham Forest (within which Corby itself is situated), itself a royal hunting forest, and Rockingham Castle, nestling on the edge of Corby town. Together they form part of a rich and varied landscape that includes farmland, open pasture, villages built from local stone, interesting and unique fauna and flora.
Corby is well-known through its steel industry and the diaspora communities (e.g. Glaswegian, in particular) that have migrated to the area. With the demise of that heritage there is a need to support local people in connecting with a more ancient and pervasive heritage not only pre-dating the industrial era, but also remaining in place today and which needs to be maintained for all to enjoy in the future.
Corby Borough Council is actively regenerating the area and there are plans to increase the population of Corby by 100% over the next 30 years. Over the last 20 years it has had the highest new house sales in the whole of the UK. Consequently, there will be waves of new people arriving and an increasingly diverse population at that. This increases the urgency for our project, not just in terms of the activities and events we will deliver, but also the legacies left behind and the impact on an expanding community.