The Land of Oak & Iron is centred on the River Derwent, which passes through Northumberland, Durham and Gateshead before joining the River Tyne. The area covers much of the river catchment and also includes part of the Tyne valley near Prudhoe.
In 2016 Groundwork NE and Cumbria successfully bid for Heritage Lottery funding to form the Land of Oak & Iron Landscape Partnership. During the following four years the Partnership succeeded in breathing new life into the history and heritage of the region for future generations to enjoy.
Our environment has been improved through planting a new woodland and creating a wetland. Fish can swim further up the River Derwent thanks to a new fish pass. Woodland owners have been helped to access funding to better manage our ecologically rich ancient, and more recently planted, woodlands.
Communities have benefited by having improved footpaths, so people can better explore the area on foot or by bike. The story of our internationally significant heritage is being told through three Heritage Centres, beautiful interpretation around the area, and specially commissioned music and drama performances. 320 young people have gained a recognised qualification by learning traditional skills.
The Land of Oak & Iron Trust was set up to continue some of this work started by activity groups formed during the Partnership, including Mapping and Young Persons. Other organisations involved in the Landscape Partnership continue their work more independently.
Three main activity groups exist:
Read more about each group and see their work on their individual project pages, by following the links above.
There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with these groups. To understand how you could become a volunteer with the Land of Oak & Iron please see our Volunteer Welcome Leaflet .
We are continually moving forward, creating opportunities for volunteers, and also work with Durham Wildlife Trust who lead a Woodland activities group.
The Land of Oak & Iron Trust operates on a volunteer basis. Our organisation chart sets out how the Trust is organised and where the responsibility for decision-making lies.