AFTER a three year wait, people were keen to put on their walking boots and head out to walk through the newly launched ‘Forest for Launceston’.

A team of volunteers have been working alongside a number of local businesses in the hopes of bringing a dream into reality.

Forest for Launceston is described as a passion project, run by local people. The group aims to transform unused open spaces into beautifully green woodland.

A spokesperson for the group explained: “We have been given the opportunity to turn some unused open space and woodland on the outskirts of the town into a community, biodiversity haven.”

As well as creating an environment which is friendly and welcoming to wildlife, the project also hopes to increase local access to nature.

The spokesperson continued: “Our vision is for this to be the first of a number of open space and woodland areas across our beautiful town, to increase community access to nature.

“We want to support woodland activities to benefit the health and wellbeing of our community and we hope to create safe, accessible spaces for our community to socialise and build confidence in, as well as having a positive impact on the environment.”

Following a lot of hard work, the Forest for Launceston team has announced the opening of its first site, the Pennygillam Community Woodland.

The site is now open to the public, with plenty of footpaths, providing the community with a fresh, green space in the heart of their town.

The development of the site will be delivered over two phases. The first, which has been completed, saw the woodland cleared and made safe for community use, and the second will see the re-introduction of plant species suited to the habitat, creating a woodland and wildflower meadow mix.

A project spokesperson added: “This isn’t just about turning an unused space into a woodland for the community to enjoy – although it is a big part of it. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to improve Launceston’s biodiversity, promote the use of the outdoors to benefit the wellbeing of the community and introduce more opportunities for people to socialise with one another while creating a positive impact on the environment.

“It is hoped this will be the first of many new outdoor open spaces in the Launceston area.”