Since 2007, Countryscape has worked closely with the Friends of Blackley Forest, helping the group to interpret and promote their Local Nature Reserve. The Blackley Forest, in North Manchester, has long been valued by the community – it was planted in 1953 as one of the country’s first community woodlands and is now registered as a Site of Biological Importance.
Initially this work involved the production of a walking map leaflet, an outdoor banner and pop-up display. The aim was to help promote the forest as a resource for both recreation and education, drawing attention to the wide range of events and activities being organised by local people (such as bird- and bat-watching, health walks, bug hunts, fishing, etc). The finished materials were well received by the Friends and formed part of a BBC Breathing Places event in Manchester, June 2007. Countryscape has since supplied the group with a range of interpretation and signage, including a newly revised walking map, a notceboard cabinet and waymarker posts.