About us

Welcome to Youth Landscapers!

We’re a group of young people from Donisthorpe, Moira and beyond, researching and mapping The Heart of the Forest as part of Black to Green, a project supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

We work with different artists and local people to make ambitious, creative projects that help to share the ways that natural and industrial landscape of the Heart of the National Forest has changed from Black to Green. You’ll find us showing our work at events including Timber Festival and the Moira Canal Festival.

You Are Here 154, Photo by David Severn

Listening to the Land

In 2019, we learned how to make podcasts! You can keep up with our current projects, get to know the group and get out around the National Forest with us by following Listening to the Land , our seasonal podcast. You can listen via this site, or on Spotify. We


In 2019, as well as recording a podcast episode at Timber Festival, we also showcased all the projects we’d made so far – thank you everyone for coming to visit our tent and lovely camper van to share stories and help make bunting.


You Are Here! was our project for 2018. We made a playful sound walk with artists Jo Wheeler and Rebecca Lee for the National Forests’ Timber Festival  We explored and shared the stories of significant buildings that have witnessed and adapted to this area’s landscape change, such as TG Green pottery, Moira Replan, Bretby Art Pottery, Wellesley Chapel, Moira Furnace and Gresley Old Hall. You can listen to the whole walk and see the photos from our journey around the forest here

In 2016/17 we worked with artist Jo Wheeler and filmmaker Ian Nesbitt and gathered the natural, industrial and social history of the people and places for an exhibition at Moira Furnace Museum and then created a short film, ‘Under The Trees The Coal And The Clay’, which explores our landscape history and the pits, potteries and pipe yards of the past. You can view it here on the Black to Green website. In March 17 we hosted a celebratory event at Moira Village Hall screening our film alongside local archives.

Black to green youth engagement

The Black to Green project aimed to connect people with the changes in the landscape that have taken place within the Heart of the Forest, a 10 square mile area within North West Leicestershire and South Derbyshire which includes Moira and Donisthorpe. Within the last 20 years woodland cover has increased from 1% to 27%. It is a special story of rapid landscape change from 19th century mining industries to new green spaces.

Black to Green supports communities and landowners to work together to make the most of the new forested environment and celebrate the areas natural and industrial heritage.

Young people are key to telling this story and have a valuable role in shaping and sharing the legacy of this area. This project aims to:

  • Work with artists to develop creative ways to map and understand the landscape
  • Engage the community in sharing their local stories about people and places
  • Share what we find through exhibitions and events

For more information please visit the Black to Green website here.

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