Dunsmore Living Landscape

The Dunsmore Living Landscape is one of the Trust’s Living Landscape areas. The 50 year vision for the area is: "An ancient wooded landscape connected by a network of hedgerows, rich in wildlife and accessible to all".

The Dunsmore Living Landscape project now has its own website. You can also like the project on Facebook.

Dunsmore Living Landscape was previously known as Princethorpe Woodlands Living Landscape. The new name reflects the local area of the project. As the Princethorpe Woodlands Living landscape the project received £1.2 million of development funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund


One of Living Landscapes’ key aims is to promote the connection between the community and the environment. Our volunteers play a crucial role in helping the project to reach its goals, and we hope that in return it provides opportunities for them to reconnect with their local landscape.

"Amazing, great experience, I know how to survive!” Female from Lillington Youth Group age 12yrs, after a woodland youth work session.

"..we wished we had the opportunity to do more of this type of work with our young people. The benefits for the young people learning new skills in the outdoors are priceless." Gary Timlin, Youth & Community Worker, Lillington.

"Until receiving the training with The Trust I was only able to identify the more common trees and shrubs. I now go out for walks with my family and am able to pass on my new found knowledge.” Eileen Gane, Nov 2012

Ecological importance

The Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull identifies the Princethorpe Woodlands as "the most important cluster of ancient woodlands in Warwickshire". The area includes 20 woodlands covering 618 hectares and represents more than 10% of the whole of Warwickshire’s ancient woodland.

an outstanding example of a large area of semi-natural habitat


In January 2012 significant support of £92,503 grant was secured from the SITA Trust Enriching Nature programme and in 2014 a further £47,000 from WCAVA. And in 2016 the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded over £1 million to the Princethorpe Woodlands Living Landscape scheme. 

Hedgerows are a vital part of our landscape heritage and important features for farmers and wildlife alike (see BBC Nature: Hedgerows). 

Since 2012, the Princethorpe Woodlands scheme has achieved significant successes, including:

  • 30 volunteers have  been trained in hedgerow survey techniques and surveyed over 100km of hedgerow
  • We worked in partnership with local landowners to restore 6 km of hedgerow. 
  • Running regular woodland work parties and training volunteers and corporate groups to carry out traditional coppicing, deer fencing and ride management. 
  • Running 3 landowner events.
  • Running the Woodland Open Day at Ryton Wood in 2015


Our remnant ancient woodlands are vital refuges for increasingly rare and often beautiful species of insect, birds, plants and mammals. The woodlands alone are home to 34 of the 35 butterfly species found in Warwickshire and important for several LBAP species:

  • Dormouse
  • Wood white butterfly
  • Dingy skipper butterfly
  • Small leaved lime

A vital part of our work therefore is the carrying out of surveys for breeding birds, bats and mammals within the Trust woodlands. This will give detailed information from which we can identify the priority areas and actions needed to restore hedgerows and woodlands.

We are working in partnership with local landowners to increase woodland cover in the scheme area by 2 hectares, and continue with the management and restoration of the Trust owned and managed Wappenbury Wood, Old Nun Wood and Ryton Wood (a SSSI).

Silver-washed Fritillary butterfly at Ryton WoodsYOUR HELP NEEDED!
We are currently recruiting new volunteers currently to help with surveying, and offer training to undertake this project. If you are interested and can offer some time to help, do get in touch.

If you are a landowner or manager within the area, we would welcome the opportunity to make links with you. Resources and materials are available to plant woodland and improve hedges and we would also require your permission to carry out hedgerow surveys.




The Trust is working with a wide range of partners and stakeholders to fulfil action on the ground, aiming towards the vision of a landscape that is managed sympathetically for wildlife. 12 partners including Butterfly Conservation, Coventry City Council, The Deer Initiative, The Forestry Commission, Forest Enterprise, local landowners, Mineral Products Association, Natural England, Warwickshire County Council, Warwickshire Dormouse Conservation group, and the Woodland Trust are working together with the Trust to develop and find resources for delivery of projects on the ground.

Lucy Hawker
t: 024 7630 2912

Tom Watkins
Dusmore Living Landscape Project Officer
t: 024 7630 2912  m: 073 4299 9704

Daniel Loveard
Dunsmore Living Landscape Your Wildlife Engagement Oficer
t: 024 7630 2912

Jake McAllister
Dunsmore Living Landscape Trainee
t: 024 7630 2912


FilenameFile size
SITA Report_Supporting information.pdf7.78 MB