A COMMUNITY WOODLAND PROJECT
The 3 Village Woodlands Group
was born out of increasing concern about the steady losses of woodland to development. Its object is to acquire a piece of land which will become Community Woodland accessible to the public. The group will involve all age groups: children at Trimley St. Martin School who will plant and nurture many of the trees, their teachers and parents and everyone else in the villages of Kirton, Falkenham and Trimley St. Martin who would like to be involved. This is a long term project to be handed on to future generations so the involvement of our children is crucial.
The group is affiliated to the Green Light Trust which has facilitated 34 Community Woodlands in East Anglia in the last 15 years. Their success has been built on 4 key elements:
Children – motivating children and young people to become responsible custodians of the environment
Community Spirit – galvanizing community spirit through long-term empowerment
Wildlife – building wildlife habitats to increase bio-diversity
Global Kinship – forging environmental links with communities overseas
What about our 3 Village Woodlands Group project?
A Steering Group has been formed. The officers elected for the Steering Group.
Group Chairman : Stephen Harvey
Vice Chairman : vacancy
Secretary : Alison Mellors
Treasurer : David Vickers
Schools Link : Jo Matthews
The Affiliation Agreement has been signed by Stephen Harvey for the Group and Grenville Clarke for the Green Light Trust. The Green Light Trust handed over a cheque for £300 to the Treasurer.
The groups name has been decided “3 Village Woodlands Group”.
Local children and young people will be encouraged to be involved as fully as possible with active participation.
All sectors of the community will be encouraged to participate and local expertise and skills will be used and shared wherever possible.
A Steering Group (SG) will manage the project and all risk associated with it in accordance with the Constitution.
The SG will manage the land, which is the subject of the project for the benefit of present and future generations.
The SG will endeavour to secure ownership of the land or to acquire legal rights therein for the community.
Only native and naturalised trees and shrubs will be planted, to enhance the traditional landscape and provide a rich haven for wildlife.
The project will strive to become fully sustainable:
• Environmentally – by using safe traditional silviculture practices, a ‘no chemical’ policy, environmentally friendly materials and structures sympathetic to their surroundings.
• Socially – by making the project enjoyable, engendering community spirit and making sure that knowledge and skills are passed.
• Financially – by keeping administration simple, ensuring that skills needed are developed within the community.
An environmental link will be made with a community from somewhere else in the world.
The 3 Village Woodlands Group From Seed to Tree programme?
It is an opportunity for the children at Trimley St. Martin School and others to contribute to the planting and management of new woodland in communities that are working with Green Light. It can begin with pupils of any age. It offers a curriculum-linked programme of activities that take place both inside and outside the school building. For older students it offers an extra-curricular focus for groups such as environmental clubs or school councils. It is an annual programme of activities that can repeat itself every year.
How can it benefit Trimley St. Martin School?
By supporting national curriculum work across all key stages. By involving pupils in improving their local natural environment & increasing biodiversity. By creating strong links between the school & the community. By educating for global citizenship through overseas links.
How does it work?
You choose how much involvement the school deems appropriate to the school. This process takes place with an appointed School Link person who will be Jo Matthews from The 3 Village Woodlands Group. A Green Light Trust leader will work as mentor to the Teachers and the School Link during the first year or two.
The environmental focus – the fundamental importance of the natural world is a knowledge shared by all indigenous peoples. From this woodland link it also provides a powerful focus for communication beyond the divisions of race, religion and politics. The 3 Village Woodlands Group is exploring a possible link with Sri Lanka.
Global Kinship adds a whole new dimension of interest, vibrancy and awareness to a local project and its wider community. It can attract new members, provide life-long learning and enrich project celebrations and events.
Global Kinship provides a dynamic opportunity for Trimley St. Martin School pupils at all Key Stages to study Citizenship and Education for Sustainable Development through mutual learning with a real-life partner. It also fulfils the government’s guidelines for overseas partnering.
It provides an important force towards greater cross cultural awareness, international understanding – and yes, world peace.
What do we have to do in the future?
Search for Land – Project Launch – Obtaining Funding – Spread the News – Build a tree nursery – More volunteers of all ages – Plant your Community Woodland – Maintain the woodland
3 Village Woodlands Group Newsletter Spring 2011
Now that winter seems to be at last relaxing its iron grip we are relaunching our activities for the coming year.
We plan to concentrate our energies this year on making progress in Kirton Churchyard woodland margins. After some bureaucratic hurdles the Church authorities have approved the removal of self seeded sycamores from the southern boundary. This will enable us to restore the southern hedgerow while the sycamores are yielding valuable material for path edging and other projects.
We held one last week and have two more scheduled:
- Saturday April 2nd. 10.00 am to 12.00
- Saturday April 9th. 10.00 am to 12.00
Please bring gloves, stout boots or shoes, saws and loppers if available.
- helping the lumberjacks with trimming and removal of timber
- weeding and mulching the hedge on the eastern boundary
- completion of path in north wood
- establishing paths in children’s area
- other jobs will evolve as the site develops
Annual General Meeting
The AGM will be held at 7.30 pm on Wednesday May 25th 2011 in the Recreation Ground Pavilion.
We shall be putting up bird and bat boxes in due course, probably next autumn. If anyone wishes to make some, or knows of a source of low cost, or sponsored wood for these please get in touch with me.
Enjoy the better weather!
Kirton Churchyard Project (Woodland Management)
Members of the steering group with technical advice from Green Light Trust and officers of SCC’s Coasts and Heaths Department have surveyed trees and shrubs within the Kirton Church boundary. This information will form a 2 year management plan to be carried out by the woodland group, the local community and children.
Search for Land
Our search for suitable land, that will eventually become our very own community woodland, is ongoing. Various landowners have been approached and while they are sympathetic to our aims, the current economic situation means they are unable to help us at this moment in time. We would therefore be grateful if you could all put on your thinking caps and if there is anyone who knows of somewhere that could potentially be a good woodland site, or knows someone who could be worth talking to, then please contact Stephen (448780) or Alison (448889). It is important to keep our search in the public eye.
Things to make & do
These links are to other sites and should open in another tab or window, depending on your browser.
Build a bee box– design courtesy of Devon County Council
Build a bat box, How to make a bat box – design courtesy of the Bat Conservation Trust
Build a barn owl box – design courtesy of the Barnowl Trust See this page for designs and placement. For the serious constructor!
3 Village Woodlands Group & Trimley St Martin Primary School Churchyard Nature Project
Year 3 children from Trimley St. Martin Primary School have been working in collaboration with the 3VWG to create their own Mini-beast Estate Agency. Their task was to improve an area of rough ground encouraging more bio-diversity.
After completing lots of research at home and at school, as well as visiting the site in May with members of the 3VWG, each child produced their own pictorial plan, attaching a persuasive letter written to the group encouraging them to choose their design. After careful consideration the 3VWG decided to use the plans from Elise McManus, Caprice Liebermann and Lewis Hollingsworth to create a Mini-beast Estate Agency. It was felt that the children’s ideas to reduce the size of the compost heap, add more habitats, create a glade and introduce some seating and additional paths would really improve the area and make it more attractive to a range of wildlife. The children will be visiting the site again and given the chance to get their hands dirty and help the 3VWG carry out the final plan.
The children are now keen to make some bird/bat boxes for the churchyard area and would be very grateful for any suitable pieces of wood. Please contact Mrs Jo Matthews 448887. Alternatively, DIY enthusiasts can obtain a pattern for these boxes from the links above.