Be a 'champion' for Harrogate's first-ever woodland owned by the community

The Harrogate public are being urged to become official 'campaign champions' as part of a £300, 000 campaign to create the town’s first community-owned woodland

Saturday, 25th April 2020, 3:09 pm
Jo Smalley, membership secretary for Long Lands Common, said the initial response to the campaign to create Harrogates first community-owned woodland has been encouraging.

Local people of all ages are invited to sign up as campaign champions to help the recently launched Harrogate and Knaresborough community-owned woodland project succeed by receiving maximum publicity during Coronavirus Covid 19.

Since the Long Lands Common campaign was first launched by residents group Nidd Gorge Community Action (NGCA) at the start of the month, hundreds of people have already registered an interest to buy a share as part of a cooperative via the official website

The project would transform an available piece of Harrogate greenbelt farmland into a new 30-acre public woodland, accessible to all, with thousands of trees providing a rich habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.

Jo Smalley, membership secretary for Long Lands Common, said: “The initial response to Long Lands Common has been very encouraging, and I would personally like to thank all those members of the community who have sent in such positive comments and registered their interest so far in becoming shareholders.

“Understandably we are having to distance ourselves socially from one another at this time. This is causing the Long Lands Common team some communications challenges.

"To make Long Lands Common a reality, we really need the help of our community and that is why I am appealing to them to take up the fun challenge of becoming campaign champions.

"Long Lands Common will be owned by the community and what better way for people to feel part of the action from the start, than to jump on board and put their mark on the project."

The woodland, to be known as Long Lands Common, will border the Nidderdale Greenway, close to its starting point at The Avenue, Starbeck and the Bilton Triangle.

Campaign organisers are stressing that there is no requirement to pay money at this point of the project but, instead, has been asking people to tell them if they would like to buy shares and plant trees when ready.

The Long Lands Common Team has put together a Campaign Champion Resource pack, complete with downloadable posters to display at home, on its website to give individuals and families ideas about what activities they might like to complete as part of the community-wide publicity push.

The team is also very interested to see what creative ideas people might come up with themselves to inspire others.

The Long Lands Common Team, which includes teachers and home educators, has also designed a campaign champion challenge especially for young people aged 11-plus.

The work involved in this can be used as evidence towards a Duke of Edinburgh Award voluntary task, as well as scout and guide badges.

Everyone who signs up to become a campaign champion and joins in to promote Long Lands Common will be awarded a commemorative certificate.

They will also be entered into a prize draw to win some beautiful limited edition Wind in the Willows prints by original Postman Pat artist Ray Mutimer.

For more information about being a Campaign Champion, including the 11-plus challenge, please visit and click on the get Involved heading on the homepage.

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