FUNDING of more than £320,000 to improve Hyndburn’s woodlands has been secured.

The Jackhouse Nature Reserve in Oswaldtwislte, Woodnook and Rothwell Heights in Accrington, Clayton Forest Park and Lower Barnes Street in Clayton-le-Moors will have £324,198 from the Forestry Commission spent on them, if councillors agree.

Further funding for further improvements to Spout House community woodland in Huncoat is also due to be determined in the future.

Trees and woodlands officer at Hyndburn Council, Phil Johnson, said in a report to the council’s cabinet: “The council owns a large amount of woodland throughout the borough. This resource is hugely valuable to the local community for recreation, health, and education.

“These external grants will enable the council to improve key sites, including resolving existing issues that would otherwise fall as a cost to the council itself.”

The woodland in Clayton Forest Park, and Lower Barnes Street, will see work carried out to make it safer, and will be thinned out.

Mr Johnson said: “The two areas of semi-mature woodland, planted roughly 20 years ago, are at a stage where thinning is required in order to ensure their long-term health.

“They both contain several desire-line footpath that are only accessible to the sure-footed walker.

“Local people have expressed a strong desire for access improvements and community involvement.”

A Friends of Jackhouse Nature Reserve group will be set up, although any scheme there would be much smaller, documents show.

The Woodnook and Rothwell Heights scheme woodland was described as a ‘significant community resource’ but its footpaths are in a poor and hazardous condition.

They would be resurfaced, connections with nearby housing would be improved, and signage, notice boards and leaflets would be also be produced.

Mr Johnson added: “All work should be possible within the funding allocated by the Forestry Commission.”

The council’s cabinet will vote on whether to support the schemes at a meeting on Wednesday