Stronger Roots white

Connecting with nature to promote healing and wellbeing

Throughout the past year many people have sought refuge and respite within our woodlands. The benefits of immersion in nature are well documented and it has been shown that people’s health and mental wellbeing can improve immensely just by spending time within green spaces.

We aim to develop this and create a series of events and activities that will further enhance people’s understanding and connection with the natural world.

Working alongside local artists, theatre companies and outdoor learning providers we shall create a variety of activities and opportunities that shall bring a new level of nature awareness and appreciation to the people of Buxton.

The Stronger Roots project will run until March 2022 and will help build on this momentum to benefit both our woodlands and people. However, the project shall in turn create a lasting legacy in both the hearts and minds of the people as well as the woodlands of Buxton.


Stronger Roots - About the project

The Stronger Roots Project aims to regenerate our community woodlands and also grow people’s connection with nature particularly within the woodlands of Buxton – bringing health and regeneration to all.

Responding to Ash Dieback and the long-term regeneration of our woods

The project will initially begin restorative action within the woodlands by felling Ash trees that have been affected by Ash dieback disease. We shall focus upon trees that are adjacent to tracks and footpaths to ensure the safety of our visitors. This work will create open areas where light can reach the woodland floor, encouraging other species to grow and flourish. Where possible we shall leave all felled wood in situ, in order to create biodiverse habitats that are more suitable for a variety of wildlife.
In time we shall work with local communities to undertake seed collections and planting so that our clearings can be repopulated with a variety of native species specifically adapted to the natural environment of these woodland areas. This will enable regeneration clearings to replace trees and areas lost to dieback with a more varied habitat that will be far more resilient to any threats of disease in the future.

Who are the project team?

The Stronger Roots project is being delivered by 3 new members of staff;

What events can the community get involved with?

Throughout the coming year the Stronger Roots Project will be working closely with a variety of organisations to bring a wide range of activities and experiences to Buxton’s woodlands and beyond.

There will be a selection of events organised in collaboration with various local legends such as Babbling Vagabonds (who will be running community theatre workshops culminating in a performance in the woodlands in July) and Creeping Toad (who are running a series of community arts workshops and family events across the year).

We will also be bringing a range of woodland and nature awareness themed workshops and events in conjunction with other outdoor learning providers such as Greenwood Growth. Further information on who we are working with can be found here.

We will also be running a range of other health and wellbeing initiatives such as walks, mindfulness, forest bathing and much more!

There will also be opportunities later in the year to get involved with the collection and germination of seeds that will help ensure the future of our woodlands.

We shall be providing details of all events both on this website on the “Events and booking” page, across our social media platforms and in the local press. So please, do keep an eye out as many will have limited participant numbers.

Frag Last (Community Engagement Officer)

Frag is responsible for working with organisations across Buxton to pull together our programme of community events. An experienced outdoor practitioner, Frag is also delivering a range of events and activities throughout the year (see the Events and Bookings page for more details). You can contact Frag on

Andy Goodwin (Woodlands Assistant)

Andy is responsible for helping maintain our woodlands so that we can all enjoy them. Andy will also be a regular presence in the woods, both at our community events and in the woods during the week.

Will Ward (Project Manager)

Will is responsible for management of the project, including working with other organisations and our funder, evaluation of the project and budgeting. Will has a background in managing youth and community programmes.

The team reports to a steering group which is made up of some of Buxton Civic Association’s directors and long-term staff.

Green Recovery Challenge Fund

About the Green Recovery Challenge Fund

This project is funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a short-term competitive fund to kick-start environmental renewal whilst creating and retaining a range of jobs. The aim of the fund is to support projects that are ready to deliver and focus on nature restoration, nature-based solutions and connecting people with nature, delivering against the goals of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan (25YEP), whilst helping to sustain and build capacity in the sector.