THE Barrow Civic and Local History Society is organising a guided tour of Furness Abbey on Saturday, May 25, from 1pm.

Members and visitors will be read around the medieval ruins by Gill Jepson, who will explain the history of the abbey from the early 12th century to the Dissolution in 1537.

Afternoon tea will be served at the Abbey Mill Café at 2.30pm.

The cost of the tour is £2.50 and the group rate for the afternoon tea will be £8.50 each.

Entry to the abbey is free to anyone living in the borough, as long as you bring a copy of your council tax bill to show at the desk.

To join the tour, or the combined walk and tea, you should contact Denise Dawson on 01229 834427, Irene Cutcliffe on 01229 834396 or send an email to by Monday.

The guest speaker at the society's April meeting was Paul Littlewood from the Woodland Trust with a talk called Standing up for trees.

He had worked as a volunteer for the Trust since 1998 and was involved in the planting of How Tun Woods at Hawcoat, part of a nationwide project to celebrate the Millennium.

The wood has become well established and provides a 15 acre habitat for a range of wildlife.

The pupils from Dane Ghyll Primary School visit the wood throughout the year to learn about the trees and wildlife which can be found in the local area.

The Woodland Trust grew from the vision of retired farmer Kenneth Watkins, who bought a wood in Devon in 1972.

The trust has become the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. It manages over 1,000 sites and plants new native woodlands each year, restoring some of the natural habitats that have declined over the past decades.

The Woodland Trust encourages people to explore woods and discover more about the wildlife, emphasising the benefits to health and wellbeing.

It was interesting to learn that ancient woodlands are unique to the UK and often date back hundreds of years. The fact that they are irreplaceable means that since 2018 they were granted the same preservation status as listed buildings, protecting them as much as possible from development. An ancient woodland can be found locally at Swarthmoor Hall.