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Volunteering for health and wellbeing at Tortworth arboretum

Volunteering for health and wellbeing at Tortworth arboretum

by woodlands blogs ~ 8 December, 2017 ~ comments welcome

The arboretum at Tortworth is a very special place. It has a long and interesting history and boasts some incredible exotic trees. The trees are a living history of the woodland and the family that planted it, but a few years ago the collection was at risk of decline through lack of management. That is, until 3 years ago when woodlands.co.uk purchased the woodland and the trees were given a new lease of life -  while also changing lives.   The 20 acre site is now managed by a community woodland group who are gently restoring the trees and at the same time, making a difference to people, as we hear from one of their regular volunteers.


Hurstbourne 5 Mile Multi-Terrain Race (by Greg England)

Hurstbourne 5 Mile Multi-Terrain Race (by Greg England)

by woodlands blogs ~ 13 November, 2017 ~ comments welcome

Runners will be taking part in the challenging Hurstbourne Tarrant 5 Mile Multi-Terrain Race, on Saturday 28th April 2018.

This will be the 10th year that this event has taken place, starting at the George V playing fields and following part of the Test Way, through woods and farmland, taking in the beautiful scenery of the North Wessex Downs. The race coincides with the perfect time to view the spectacular bluebells in Doles Wood. Read more...

The national forest revisited

The national forest revisited

by Chris ~ 6 March, 2017 ~ comments welcome

The National Forest scheme has celebrated its 25th anniversary.  It was and is a bold project, focusing on some 500 square kilometers of central England (parts of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire).  Whilst the area included farmland and some pockets of ancient woodland, e.g. Charnwood Forest to the east and Needwood Forest to the west, it also included many abandoned industrial workings such as opencast mines, quarries, clay pits and spoil heaps.

Some 8.5 million trees have been planted to date and now the area generates income through tourism Read more...

Sheffield - the battleground for those who care about street trees and woodlands

Sheffield – the battleground for those who care about street trees and woodlands

by Angus ~ 15 February, 2017 ~ 5 comments

Whilst Sheffield is renowned for its woodlands near to the city centre and its 36,000 street trees, it has now become the scene of conflict over their future.  A dozen people have now been arrested and the authorities have acted in ways that seem fairly heavy-handed.  Two older ladies each about 70 years old (Jenny Hockey and Freda Brayshaw) were arrested when they protested against the tree-massacre. They weren't actually charged, but others have been.

The battle over Sheffield's trees all started when the City Council signed an agreement with Amey to manage some of their infrastructure, although the terms in the 7,000 page agreement are secret.   As it contains commercially sensitive information Sheffield Council are not revealing the full contents of the 2012 PFI deal (Private Finance Initiative) and even some of those defending it haven't read the whole document. Read more...

March Wood in Kent - healing and learning outdoors

March Wood in Kent – healing and learning outdoors

by Karen ~ 5 February, 2017 ~ 2 comments

The March Wood project in Kent is using nature to help young people and families with "additional needs" and adults with mental health issues.   We run educational and therapeutic programmes and teach a range of practical skills. For example we help people to use hand tools, identify trees and plants. We also do firelighting and show how to managing risk around fires and edge-tools. we also help young people and adults deal with social and emotional issues through group discussions and one-to-one therapy sessions.

Our project has been running for almost two years and we've worked with over 100 young people and their families; young people with physical disabilities that include blindness, young people with autism and ADHD. Read more...

forest school

Why did we go down to the woods today?

by Lily H ~ 1 July, 2016 ~ 3 comments

Recently we were given the opportunity to support a group of young men out into the woods over a period of ten weeks. They were a group that had been handpicked because they were finding the traditional school environment challenging.

We were given permission to use a mixed woodland site and allowed to carry out small amounts of maintenance, which the group really enjoyed especially when felling a tree, checking the squirrel traps and using pruning saws and loppers.

But “Why head out into the same woods for ten weeks?” surely we could have taught the use of this equipment in one day. Read more...

2nd Eden Valley Scout Camp

2nd Eden Valley Scout Camp

by Harry ~ 25 June, 2016 ~ comments welcome

The weather was glorious, bags were packed, all provisions were bought and it looked like everything was set up for a great Scout Camp in the Rowbank Woods. And 2nd Eden Valley Scouts were not to be disappointed; the camp was set in idyllic woodland that was ideal for slinging hammocks, playing games, learning about the flora and fauna of the area, cooking marshmallows and having a good ‘crack’ (Cumbrian term for talking)! Read more...

Is visiting a woodland mainly about getting away from the crowd?

Is visiting a woodland mainly about getting away from the crowd?

by Angus ~ 2 June, 2016 ~ comments welcome

Stone age man would not have come across many other people.  Possibly,  a couple of hundred in total.  I was once told by the geneticist, Steve Jones, that in his visit to central London he had seen more people on one day than an ancient man would have met in the course of his entire existence.  Our 'stone age' man would have come across more trees in his life than we will,  so perhaps there is a balance between encounters with fellow men and with nature that modern life has turned upside down.  Many people are said to be suffering from nature deficiency and this could be contributing to stress and anxiety.   Read more...

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