In the past there were many coal mines here and when these closed down the National Coal Board made a great effort, along with local councils, to return the areas blighted by mining activity to pleasant rural areas that could be enjoyed by local residents. Now we are in The National Forest.
The wood was planted in 1991 by Leicestershire County Council as one of the first new plantings in the National Forest, sponsored by The Leicester Mercury's 'Woody Tree' campaign and by The Royal Mail through employee contributions, as well as donations from other local businesses.
It was planted on the site of the former Coleorton Colliery (known locally as the 'Bug & Wink' Colliery), which produced coal from 1875 until 1933. The site was returned to agricultural use after demolition in 1975 and the two mine shafts capped and sealed. As a result, prior to planting, the majority of the site was fertilised and ripped to alleviate compaction and to promote root penetration of the layer of demolition rubble and colliery spoil below the thin topsoil. The only exception to this was an area named as Post Office Wood, which was planted on agricultural soils, in a field to the west of the brook course.
Ownership was transferred to Coleorton Parish Council in January 2012 and has been managed mainly by the Coleorton & New Lount Volunteer group. (Group Facebook page >>)
Some time around 1992-95 The Royal Mail became involved, sponsoring the planting of trees in what became known as "the Royal Mail Wood" or "the Post Office field" and set up a scheme whereby residents, and indeed people from a wider area, could sponsor the planting of a tree. People could buy a "Certificate of Dedication" of a tree or trees planted within the "Royal Mail Wood".
We've had several enquiries from people who have found these certificates in the papers of their grandparents / uncles and so on.
Unfortunately we don't have, nor the Parish Council or North West Leicestershire District Council who undertook the planting, a list of people who purchased the tree certificates.
Coleorton Parish Council have a page for Coleorton Wood including some history and current facilities and car-park opening & closing times.
The Bug & Wink colliery
Coleorton Wood in 2010
Coleorton Wood is a six-hectare mixed, young woodland planted during the early days of The National Forest on the site of the former "Bug and Wink" colliery. It is owned and managed by Coleorton Parish Council.