I had a site visit today to Washingwell Woods, in my ward of Whickham South and Sunniside in Gateshead with a member of the Sunniside History Society (of which I am a member). I have an ambitious agenda of promoting the history of the woods and developing further its use as a recreational area. The site visit today was to stimulate ideas and look at possibilities. So for 2 hours we plodded through mud and streams and looked at abandoned quarries, the site of a Roman fort, the location of a demolished medieval manor house, a pond used in the 17th - 18th century to cool the wooden wheels of an early railway, a sunken waggonway and the foundations of lots of buildings that are no longer standing.
The place is packed with history and we are hoping to draw this out for everyone to enjoy. Pulling together a funding package to ensure this happens is going to be a big challenge but that was achieved for the Butterfly Bridge in the Derwent Valley. I'm sure we will be able to do the same at Washingwell.