A ten year strategy has been launched to restore some of the ancient forest landscapes and woodland habitats lost in Worcestershire's Wyre Forest over the last century.

Researchers are conducting a search of historic data of the Wyre from the Roman period and examining how the area has changed due to a range of different land uses, including mining and timber production.

A project team will also see how the character of the landscape is linked to some of the surrounding communities as well as neighbouring landscapes of meadows, orchards and coppice.

The strategy will be put forward following a public consultation to ensure the long-term social, environmental and economic sustainability of the area.

Gail Atkinson, from the Forestry Commission, said: "Our aim is to produce a plan for the Wyre that will maxim-ise the potential of the landscape and result in environmental benefits, as well as meeting the needs and aspirations of people in the local community and further afield. So we are very keen to hear from as many people as possible.

"This is an important project, which will put the Wyre Forest at the forefront in developing ways of delivering public benefit through landscape restoration."

Much of the Wyre is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and many rare species of flora and fauna can be found there.

Ms Atkinson added: "It is an area that is rich in geological interest. The Wyre Forest's 6,500 acres is all that survives of a wood that once stretched along the Severn Valley from Worcester to Bridgnorth."

A number of meetings are being held for the public to voice their opinions on a strategy. The next workshop takes place tomorrow at 4.30pm at the Pioneer Centre in Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire.

* For more information contact Allison Reed or Isobel Daniels on 0117 9291997.