Woodland centre milestone

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A TRADITIONAL topping-out ceremony was held on Monday for the Woodland Discovery Centre in Ecclesall Woods.

It was at the modern timber building on the sawmill site, which will include visitor, education and training facilities to cater for school groups, local businesses and community organisations as well as families and individuals.

The centre, which will showcase the sustainable use of wood in construction, is in ancient woodland which attracts more than 300,000 visitors a year.

The council will own and manage the new building off Abbey Lane, which is due to be ready by the autumn.

The contract was taken over in January this year by Lumsden & Carroll, on behalf of the council, after the £330k project stalled following the financial collapse of the original contractor.

Over half of the funding has been donated by the J G Graves Trust, which was established in the name of the local benefactor.

The woods were once used for growing timber and making charcoal for steelmaking.

Council woodlands manager Ted Talbot said: “These woodlands are the keystone of our heritage.”