Stillington Forest Park

The transformation of a former industrial slagheap and tip into a 7 hectare Forest Park in 1994 is the result of the work of a regeneration partnership involving the local municipality, governmental agencies and non­governmental bodies including the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust and The Tees Forest partnership. Extensive use of sub soils in the regeneration scheme has resulted in a highly species rich flora and invertebrate popula­tion in addition to new woodland cover.

Objectives. Manage the biodiversity interest of the Forest Park and retain its biodiversity. Build links with the local community and utilise the site for public events. Secure local nature reserve status and funding for the long-term management of the site. Reduce litter problems associated with fishing the lake.

Key stakeholders. Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, The Tees Forest, Tees Valley Wildlife Trust, BTCV, Local primary school, English Partner­ships, Forestry Commission, Countryside Agency.

Resources. Staff input (one and a half days a week) from Stockton-on – Tees Borough Council Countryside Warden services (including volun­teers). Financial support from the local municipality and English Partner­ships. Input from a Prince’s Trust volunteer towards site maintenance. Actions undertaken. Management Plan produced, appointment of a part­time countryside warden, regular meeting with the local Parish Council, involvement of local school children and development of an outdoor study area, sympathetic management of the local flora, fauna and invertebrates, holiday activities for local children, establishing a fishing club and volun­teers group, construction of a permanent orienteering course, venue for an annual trail race, survey of local residents to establish their views of the site.

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Fig. 3. Reclaimed ‘slagheap’ at Stillington has been converted into a developing Forest Park. The site is now famous for its floral diversity.

Number of people involved. 200.

Outcomes. Use of the site by local residents is increasing, biodiversity has been secured and long term education benefits achieved through liaison with the adjacent primary school.

Evaluation. The inter-relationship with the local community has taken longer to establish than on other projects in the local area, the appointment of a part-time countryside warden is seen as a turning point in achieving this. Increasing use of the Forest Park and setting up a fishing club appears to be helping reduce a litter problem.