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VO L U N T E E R N E W SLETTER
A-hunting we will go
Private tree visible from public access.
Forget fox-hunting, bans and demonstrations. There’s now only one hunt that everyone’s talking about. Phil Marshall explains
News Ancient Tree Hunt Special
pages 2 & 16
page 3 page 4
Make your mark Photographers Flower power In the woods A colourful experiment New woods roundup page 8 Get involved at our stunning new sites Out of the woods page 10 page 6 page 5
Stunning and precious – an ancient oak
It is mind boggling to think that a
living organism can survive for hundreds of years. Ancient trees fill us with awe. Steeped in history, teeming with wildlife, beautiful and seemingly magical, they are irreplaceable natural assets. Many believe that the UK has the greatest number of ancient trees in Northern Europe but we want to find out for sure. By 2011,
We want your memories Speakers’ bulletin
NEW Woodland groups
page 12 page 13
trees are, we’re certain that there are lots of others that we don’t know about. The hunt will help us to find and care for these wonderful trees. Some have fascinating stories to tell and these will be heard again in our communities. Ancient trees are everywhere – in towns, cities, gardens, parks and forests. The hunt provides a simple, fun way for all the family to enjoy exploring their local environment to discover the natural treasures around them. So, why don’t you pick up the scent and join the pack, as we scour the country looking for our quarry – some of the UK’s finest natural monuments.
Turn to page 3 for more about the Ancient Tree Hunt.
Frequently asked questions Volunteer opportunities Getting in touch page 15 page 16 page 14
the Woodland Trust wants to help ancient tree hunters record at least 100,000 specimens. What’s the point of a tree hunt? Well, whilst we already know where some of our ancient
tel: 01476 581111
Your £2m gift to our woods
Volunteers gave the Woodland Trust
From left to right: Merle Dekanski, Karen Lifford and Carl Hughes
Dear friends There are two contrasting themes to this issue. One is very much of the modern age. Working on conservation projects in urban areas can be difficult as efforts are often blighted by antisocial behaviour, a problem that can be exacerbated by a lack of community spirit. But we have really uplifting success stories to report in Hull (page 7), Merseyside (page 13) and Northern Ireland (page 16), all of which have been enthusiastically supported by volunteers. Our second theme is about looking to the past but also celebrating what we have right now.The Ancient Tree Hunt is looking for thousands of volunteers to join in the search, helping us to unlock the mysteries of ancient trees as well as telling us where they are! With this knowledge, more can enjoy them and we can do much more to protect them. Read about the hunt on pages 1 and 3. We hope you enjoy this issue and the coming summer. Best wishes
Picking pilot pays off
Litter picking is more than just gathering a load of old rubbish. During the spring and summer of 2006, we ran litter picking pilots at several woods in Cheshire, designed to highlight any issues that this role raises for volunteers. Questions about methods, risks, disposal of litter and personal protection equipment were all addressed. The results have been passed on to all the relevant Woodland Trust staff, ensuring that volunteers doing the very important job of ‘picking’ in our woods will have all the support they need.
Event helper training
The volunteers team is frequently asked for details of volunteers who can help with Trust events. So, we asked many of you if you would be interested in assisting. The response was fantastic; so now 250 of you will be invited to participate in workshops early this summer. If you would like to get involved with events but aren’t signed up for the workshops, let us know and we will keep you informed of any other training opportunities in the future. Roles range from car park duties and marshalling, to attending an event as the sole representative of the Woodland Trust.
The volunteers team PS Think what can be achieved in 250,000 hours.That’s how much time you’ve given us – Thank you so much! See above.
Carole Sutton WTPL/Matt Limb
251,043 hours last year. This time has a notional monetary value of £2,048,587 which equates to around 73 full time members of staff.Year after year, our number of active volunteers is increasing. The difference this is making to our native woods is tremendous. Thank you for the part you are playing.
Continued from front cover
ANCIENT TREE HUNT SPECIAL
Trees with stories to tell
The ancient Queen’s Oak at Huntingfield Hall in Suffolk is so-called because it’s claimed that Queen Elizabeth I shot a deer from the shelter of it. In reality, it’s much more likely that one of her entourage did so in her presence. The ancient Wolsey yew at Birtsmorton Court in Worcestershire is named after Sir Thomas Wolsey, who spent time as the chaplain of Birtsmorton. It’s believed that he regularly sat and slept under the yew. The ancient oak which stands at the heart of Redmire in the Yorkshire Dales is renowned because it’s said that John Wesley, founder of the Methodists in the 18th century, regularly stood beneath it to preach to local villagers. Does your ancient tree have a story to tell? If so, please tell us on the website.
Page edited by ancient trees volunteer, Phil Marshall
Tally ho! The big hunt is underway!
So, how do I become an ancient tree hunter?
It’s easy! To join the hunt, all you need to do is head out of your front door and scour the great outdoors to track down and record ancient trees.You’re looking for the sort of tree that to encircle it, you’d need to join hands with at least two other people. Literally thousands of people across the UK will be in the pack with you, all helping to create a living map of ancient trees. When you’ve tracked down your ancient tree, you can then enter the details online. Don’t worry if you’re not completely sure of every detail. Our expert volunteer verifiers will make sure that your ancient tree is properly mapped (see below). Even if you’ve already recorded a tree, you can still go back online and add more stories and photos. On the website you’ll find lots of useful tips and information about the hunt, including step-by-step instructions on how to register your ancient tree.You can also see details of the ancient trees that have already been recorded near to where you live or work.
Could I become an expert verifier?
We’re always looking for more expert verifiers to
check records supplied by our ancient tree hunters. So, if you know your trees, you can read maps, you’ve transport and internet access, and you have the time and enthusiasm needed, then why not join our merry band of volunteer expert verifiers? You’ll be given training prior to beginning your verification tasks, including hands-on experience of the hunt website. Then you’ll begin to receive notifications of newly created ancient tree records in your area. For each tree, you will verify the details using information provided by recorders. This may involve paying a visit and taking photographs. Finally, you will activate the verified record. To find out more about becoming a volunteer expert verifier, visit the website and check out how you can get involved in the hunt.
ore out m isit find To unt, v the h nt.org.uk oin u and j -tree-h ncient ww.a w
tel: 01476 581111
E D U C AT I O N
The Woodland Trust’s education work engages adults and children, nurturing an enduring appreciation of trees and woods. Find out more by logging on to www.woodland-trust.org.uk/learning There are many rewarding ways that volunteers can help
British trees update
The revised British Trees website is evercloser to completion thanks to the Andy Chapman time, energy and enthusiasm of retired headteacher, Andy Chapman. Living just five minutes from the Trust’s Grantham office, he has been able to give us one morning a week between bursts of supply teaching, which enable Andy to keep his professional hand in, and dedicate time to his allotments – yes, that is plural. Because of technological constraints ‘Lizabeth Henderson, who was featured in the last issue, had to hand over the reins to Andy. But Andy’s impressive speed and efficiency means great progress is being made and also hopefully indicates how much he is enjoying the task. Having someone able to volunteer on a regular basis is a great asset as it provides the kind of continuity this task needs. The revamped definitive guide to British trees will soon be available online at www.british-trees.com Graham Blight
New book uncovered
In our spring 2006 issue, we introduced volunteer Nicky Souter, a lecturer who was working with us and The Association for Science Education, to produce an important new book. Now available, it is an innovative new resource for secondary school science teachers. Nature in a changing climate – Phenology uncovered explains how students can observe and record natural seasonal changes and contribute to internationally important research. To order your copy, log onto www.naturescalendar.org.uk/ secondary or call 0800 056 0643.
Make your mark on Nature’s Calendar
Last year, nearly 120,000 people took part in the Springwatch and Autumnwatch surveys in association with the BBC, giving us intriguing and really useful information about how nature is responding to climate change. Some of the results from the Woodland Trust’s long-term research are presented in an interactive ‘Climate change garden’ narrated by TV weather this year’s spring survey and gearing up to receive records for autumn.
It’s not too late to become a recorder for the autumn survey and it is easy to
take part. Recorders are given clear information, helping them to identify forecaster Michael common species and explaining what to Fish. Take a look at it look out for and when. The first events should occur in July on the ‘findings’ section and will include blackberries and rowan fruit ripening and the of our Nature’s last swifts being spotted before migration. Calendar website. Right now we’re analysing the results of Records can be submitted online or by post. To become a recorder, visit www.naturescalendar.org.uk or call 0800 026 9650.
P H OTO G R A P H E R S
Images are powerful and highly effective tools used for our campaigning and fundraising work. To join our growing group of volunteer photographers contact Julia Peet on 01476 581111 or email email@example.com
The Woodland Trust’s handy leaf swatch book is one of our best sellers, raising important funds for our woods. Now we would like to follow this up with a wildflower swatch book. We are looking for images that we can use free of charge for the new booklet. Our needs are very specific but definitely within the reach of a keen photographer. If you would like to help, here’s what we need.
just retired after 11 years as a volunteer photographer
My photographic CV: I first took up photography after the war and have practised it as a serious amateur ever since. A Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society since 1992, I have sent around 400 slides to the Woodland Trust. My final project for them is to record all the ancient trees in my area (see page 3). The part I enjoy most is... seeing a successful slide when it comes back from processing and feeling I’ve done justice to the wood. It’s always a bonus to see your picture on a calendar or Christmas card. The woods look best in… Each season has its appeal for a photographer. In the spring, the new leaves give a taste of summer to come and are wonderful, particularly if backlit. Summer has trees heavy with leaves and birdsong and autumn gives us those spectacular colours. There is something about a bare tree in winter which is also beautiful, especially with a trace of snow or frost. My advice to others thinking of volunteering is… Have a go! And use a tripod. In woods, light is low, calling for a slow shutter speed with absolutely no camera shake. Examples of Robert's pictures can be seen on pages 4 and 15.
Swatch book checklist
The images will be used for identification purposes so they must show: ✔ As much of the plant as possible including leaves and stem ✔ Ideally, at least one flower facing the camera and another turned slightly to one side so its shape and some of its petals can be seen ✔ The flowers as perfect specimens with no abnormalities ✔ No parts out of focus ✔ A simple background as the images will be ‘cut out’ and given a plain backdrop The species we would like to feature are:
wood anemone yellow archangel ramsons/wild garlic early purple orchid woody nightshade harts tongue fern rosebay willowherb broad-leaved helleborine enchanter’s nightshade greater stitchwort wood spurge meadowsweet honeysuckle red campion dog rose woodruff ground ivy wood sorrel golden rod mistletoe wild strawberry twayblade bramble dogs mercury lily of the valley herb bennet lesser celandine lords and ladies black bryony St John’s wort bluebell bugle violet primrose sanicle snowdrop oxlip wood avens foxglove ivy
We have included some species that have finished flowering for this year in the hope that you may already have these images in your back catalogue. Please provide your images in 35mm slide or digital format (ideally 300 dpi and no less than 72dpi) by the end of September to Julia Peet, email firstname.lastname@example.org or send to the Picture Library at the usual Woodland Trust address (see back cover). If yours is one of the chosen images, we will ask you to sign a licence showing that you are happy for us to use it. If you would like your slides returned, please include a prepaid envelope. Thank you.
tel: 01476 581111
I N T H E WO O D S
Our woods are some of the most spectacular natural places in the UK. Many who enjoy them also offer time to help look after them, in all sorts of ways.
If you go down to the woods today. . .
John Northover explains the science behind a very colourful experiment
You could be in for a surprise – if you happen to be
at one of several Woodland Trust experimental projects currently blossoming. Working jointly with Landlife, the
Woodland Trust is seeking ways to kickstart ecological restoration in places where significant challenges are posed. So the concept of the Forest of Flowers was born – typically using ex-arable land where wild plants could boost biodiversity, generate local interest, act as weed control and provide colourful surroundings for the newly planted native trees. Two of those woods are Geordie's Wood, Glen Devon, Perth and Kinross (the largest Forest of Flowers project in the UK) managed by Philip Gordon and Wheeldon Copse, Alvanley in Cheshire which is under the watchful eye of Tim Kirwin. At Wheeldon Copse, after careful soil preparation, which involved the use of a special Danish plough kindly loaned by Landlife, seeds were either broadcast in the autumn or planted as plugs in the spring. A technique called 'soil inversion' was used to reduce the competition from weeds – which is where the Danish plough comes in. Digging down deeply, between 60 and 100cm, is expected to give trees improved stability and the turned subsoil provides a good start for the wildflowers.
All photos: WTPL/Simon Mageean
Thousands of seeds were sown providing large areas of colourful wild flowers.
The first phase of the trial in Geordie's Wood began in 2006 and the second will be implemented this year.Volunteers helped with the initial sowing and, to ensure that the project has the best chance, a volunteer botanist is monitoring the progress of the new plants. Species such as red campion, ribwort plantain, common knapweed, meadowsweet, yarrow, cornflower, corn marigold, poppies and woodland edge plants have been planted in the first phase. In Cheshire the range of planting has included cornfield annuals such as corn chamomile, ox-eye daisy, poppy, cornflower and corncockle with the aim of avoiding the appearance of ragwort and creeping thistle that so readily invade open ground. The perennials, such as red campion, greater stitchwort, self heal, lesser celandine, garlic mustard, lady's bedstraw are gradually getting established alongside the annuals. Bluebells, which can take up to five years from seed to flower, are also included in the planting scheme. As far as is possible, flower seeds are locally sourced and the species selected are those known to occur naturally in the district. The Forest of Flowers sites can be seen in their full blooming glory from May to September.
Joi n i ng D ot
Information appeal – ancient woodland inventory For the first time, an inventory of ancient and longestablished woodland has been created for Northern Ireland, bringing it into line with the rest of the UK. Back on the map was produced after extensive archive research and field surveys of over 2,500 woods which have survived since at least 1830. But this is just the beginning. ‘We are keen to find out more about these special woods and hope that local people can help us refine the inventory,’ says Sian Thomas, who managed the project. ‘Our website explains how to research your own local wood, and we are also asking for people's stories and memories of the woods on the inventory. And please let us know if you hear of any that are under threat.’ For more information, visit www.backonthemap.org.uk Andi Clevely profiles bird expert and award winning volunteer, Dot Blakely ‘Just a huge surprise,’ was how Bangor's Dot Blakely described receiving the Trust's Volunteer of the Year for Northern Ireland award. Her lifelong love of nature started when she was just a few years old and her father first showed her a nest full of tiny birds. Since then, birds have been Dot's passion, involving her in a host of activities, maintaining dozens of nestboxes and spending winter weekends monitoring the annual congregation of 70,000 waders and water birds on nearby Strangford Lough. She shares her invaluable knowledge helping to deliver birdwatching courses at Castlereagh College, where she's noted for her unorthodox but memorable keys to identification. ‘I tell them the wren's nothing much to look at, just a cocked-up tail and a glorious song, while the robin always forgets the end of his song and puffs out his red chest instead. And an oystercatcher's like a flying carrot with its bright red bill.’ Dot's keen involvement with the Woodland Trust was precipitated by contractors illegally felling trees in a woodland one day. ‘Birds and trees go together, don't they,’ she said, ‘and I just saw red.’ That sadly common incident resulted in her devoting considerable time and enthusiasm to the Trust, distributing leaflets and visiting woods to lead bird-identification walks that have become immensely popular with the public and led ultimately to her award last October. ‘It was lovely,’ she recalls, ‘and they gave me a wooden keyring made from Nelson's ship. That's usually only given to royalty!’
Woodland comes to town
Volunteers have planted 100,000 trees in and around the city
of Hull, creating 24 hectares (60 acres) of urban woodland, in a city where woodland space has been scarce. Urban woodland projects are often challenging and this was no exception – on two sites, 90 per cent of the trees planted were lost in their first week. But by the end of the project, twice the number of trees had been planted than originally proposed with the help of 4,900 school children. The project has shown the great benefits trees bring to our environment and the contribution new woods can make to regeneration and the quality of life in our towns and cities. Already, organisations in Hull are building on this success with more woodland projects.
New Woodland Groups section – see page 13…And turn the page for the New woods roundup
tel: 01476 581111
N E W WO O D S
Wragby Woods, Lincolnshire
The Woodland Trust has recently acqu with them, exciting new challenges for volu
Wragby Woods is an 80 hectare (200 acre) group of fields
about six miles east of Lincoln, in the Lincolnshire Limewoods area, one of the largest concentrations of lime trees in the country. The British midlands mark the northern edge of the lime tree’s European habitat. The tree is historically interesting as the fibres under the bark are a traditional material in rope-making. Oaks and other broadleaf trees thrive alongside the limes.
Intensive work on developing Wragby won’t start until next winter, but site surveys are now being conducted, and anyone living locally with the specialist knowledge to work on hedgerow or streamside surveys should contact the volunteers team.
Plans include promoting biodiversity, developing footpaths, community work and school visits. Woodland officer Peter Lowe explained: ‘We intend to have a community tree nursery involving local schools.Youngsters will pick seeds in the forest, bring them back and plant them in the nursery.’ He added:‘Rather than blanket the place with trees, we’ll create watercourses, natural flower meadows and so on. There will be lots of work for volunteers, but that’s a year or two down the line.’
Hainault Forest, says woodland officer Geoff Sinclair, is one
of the Trust’s best ancient tree sites: it includes 6,000 hornbeam pollards, anything up to 500 years old, and some very old oaks. The Woodland Trust looks after Hainault Forest on behalf of Essex County Council. Recently the Trust has itself acquired a 55 hectare (135 acre) extension to the Forest. Geoff Sinclair has held three heathland conservation days in Hainault Forest, where the main task has been pulling up saplings such as silver birch and alder, to make space for the heathland species to flourish.
Country Care,’ said Geoff. He added: ‘We want to get lots of children out planting trees and discovering ancient woodland.’ And Hainault is an ideal location for ancient tree hunters (see page 3).Volunteers can patrol pathways looking for trees more than 400 years old. When ancient trees are found, they are measured and can be registered on the Ancient Tree Hunt website. There is plenty of work to do in surveying Hainault Forest and the land around it for ancient trees.
Hainault and Havering, Essex
There will be plenty of work for volunteers – of all ages. ‘We want to involve people in caring for the Forest as volunteer wardens, in conjunction with Epping Forest
S RO U N D U P
Wentwood Forest, Newpor t and Monmouthshire
uired some wonderful new sites and, unteers. David Goymour takes us on a tour Helping out
Woodland officer Jon Winder is now planning work for which he will need volunteer help – for example: people who can walk the woodland paths regularly and report on any fallen trees or other problems; clearing paths and litter picking and other maintenance around entrances to the wood; local experts who would be willing to talk to interested groups in the area. In June, Jon plans to call a meeting of all those who would like to find out more about volunteering at Wentwood. Please get in touch if you would like to be added to the invitation list.
Wentwood is the biggest stretch of planted ancient
woodland in Wales, accounting for 3 per cent of the country’s woodland. The Woodland Trust bought over 350 hectares (nearly 900 acres) of the forest in January 2006. Between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries almost all the oaks and other broadleaved trees native to Wentwood had been felled, either to clear land for farming or to be replaced with conifers. Since the Woodland Trust has taken over, the strategy has been to thin the conifers allowing the native trees and ancient woodland flora to regain a foothold. Primary school children have been involved in planting trees and sowing tree seeds.
Victory Wood, Kent
The name Victory Wood might make us think this
woodland was created 200 years ago to celebrate Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar. The celebration is the right one, but in fact this stretch of land, which the Woodland Trust is planting, was acquired only recently, as a ‘flagship’ site for the Trafalgar Woods campaign in 2005. It forms part of the Blean, a 3,000 hectare (7,400 acre) mosaic of woodland and farmland which runs along the north Kent coast.Victory Wood has great potential, being bordered by ancient woods on either side and to the north are two important marshland habitats. The southern half of the site was once an ancient woodland, felled for farming in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.
Woodland officer Clive Steward needs ‘eyes and ears people’ who walk the area regularly, and could keep him informed of any scrambling bikes, abandoned cars and the like. Help will also be needed over the next year or so in developing grazing land in the wood. About 50 hectares (120 acres) of Victory Wood, from a total of 140 hectares (345 acres), which was previously arable land, was sown to grass last autumn. Clive hopes to encourage local farmers to graze their cattle on this land once the rough pasture is established. Tasks available for volunteers will probably include pulling out unwanted ragwort in the summer.
To play your part in caring for any of these new sites, please contact the volunteers team. All are open to visitors at any time.
10 email: email@example.com
tel: 01476 581111
O U T O F T H E WO O D S
You don’t have to work in the woods to help the Woodland Trust.
When the final total for this year’s
Christmas Card Recycling Campaign came in, we thought all our Christmases had come at once! Thanks to your help in promoting the campaign, we recycled a staggering 91 million cards – an 11 per cent increase on last year. This will enable us to plant over 20,000 trees. But of course, the campaign’s importance goes beyond direct fundraising – it’s a great profile-raiser. This year we appeared on BBC Breakfast News, Radio 4 and, with help of celebrities Jane Horrocks and Coronation Street’s Debra Stephenson, we graced the GMTV and This Morning sofas and countless magazines and newspapers. Many thanks to those of you who posted back feedback forms. Many of you told us that some Tesco bins were pulled early.
Jane Horrocks launches the 2007 Woodland Trust Christmas Card Recycling Scheme
A disappointed Tesco HQ said next year all store managers will get a note in mid-January to remind them that bins must stay in place until 31 January. So, as you can see, this information is hugely valuable and we appreciate your time. Unfortunately we’re unable to respond personally due to mailing costs, so we hope you will accept this huge THANK YOU!
Wanted – armchair saviours
Could you help us to save ancient woodland from the comfort of your own home?
We are looking for people who can give us an early warning about any plans that could affect ancient woodland. The more notice our Woods Under Threat team has to act, the greater the chance of the wood being saved. All you need is a computer with a broadband connection and a willingness to search council websites for planning applications and local development frameworks that may impact on these irreplaceable woods. We will offer training in how to search the sites and how to cross-check against the ancient woodland inventory. Some prior knowledge of the planning system would give you a head start but it is not essential. This role is highly flexible as it can be carried out from anywhere with computer access and for as many hours as you wish. To start saving woods now, contact the volunteers team.
VOLUNTEER NEWSLETTER 11
We don’t deserve all the credit, you do!
Name: Malcolm M Caporn Volunteer role: legal team member Location: Grantham, Lincolnshire
The part of the role I enjoy most is… good question, there’s a lot to choose from! Using my skills and knowledge even though retired; interacting with some lovely people; getting around to see sites and meet people on the ground… My ideal natural place is… Great Britain.You can’t beat its diversity; different places for different moods I was first inspired by woods when… The woods near me where I grew up were one minute away and belonged to the house I lived in. There is no time when I cannot recall pleasure from trees. Other things I do with my time are… motorcycling, playing bridge (I’m on the Derbyshire County team), badminton, acting treasurer for the Nottinghamshire and district Pre-Retirement Council, going to the gym, being a reader at church, visiting the opera – and friends, and going on holiday. I also like food and wine! My advice to others thinking of volunteering is… do it! There is something somewhere which will suit what you want to do; the opportunities are endless. In the future I would like to… spend more time with friends, visit more of Scotland and Wales, pass the advanced motorcycling test, stay healthy and grow old, but not too gracefully.
The Woodland Trust has launched a new credit
card with The Co-operative Bank. . It’s an easy way to generate funds for the Trust through your usual daily spend. We receive £20 for every account opened before 30 June 2007 and £15 for every new account thereafter. If every volunteer signed up for a card before 30 June, we’d raise £44,900 – and that’s before you even spend on the card. If you’d like to know more check out the enclosed leaflet or visit www.woodland-trust.org.uk/cc
Memories of the storm
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Great Storm of
1987, and we’re looking for any memories people have of the event that we can use in a PR campaign. Any recollections you have of how they affected local Woodland Trust woods would be useful. Information might include: the damage you saw, a description of the impact on wildlife, any strange items getting blown into the woods and notable trees that were damaged or that withstood the impact. If you can help, please contact the volunteers team.
WTPL/Jane Begg WTPL/Keith Huggett
eer olunt e 15 See V n pag ities o tun s oppor e role r mor s’ fo wood f the ‘out o
12 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
tel: 01476 581111
S P E A K E R S ’ BU L L E T I N
Awareness of the Woodland Trust’s work is given a huge boost by our speakers’ network. We have over 100 voluntary speakers all over the UK. If you know of an organisation or group that would like to book a presentation, contact on 01476 581111 extension 264 or email email@example.com
Page edited by Mandy Hillier
New presentation packs
A new updated version of the Volunteer Speakers’ Pack will be available soon.
But don’t jettison your old one yet! We haven’t replaced the whole pack, as this would have been too expensive. Instead, we’ve produced some new slides to replace the ones that were out of date. A brand new set of notes is also available to accompany the pack, including updates on some of the Trust’s more recent projects, like the Ancient Tree Hunt, and other activities. And, for the first time, a new electronic version of the pack will be produced. Contact us on the phone number or at the email address above to ask for your pack.
Have you been to the Woodland Trust website lately? If you have internet access, pay a visit before a talk to get the most
up to date information about what’s happening at the Trust, helping you to give your presentation a fresh feel.You might even find the information you need to field that tricky question. The home page highlights some of the biggest stories and other places well worth a visit include ‘news releases’ and ‘campaigns’. If you would like to receive regular updates by email, click the button on the home page to subscribe to our e-newsletter. Visit www.woodland-trust.org.uk The website is currently being redesigned. See page 15 to find out how you can be involved.
Speakers are often on the look out for that bit extra in the form of great illustrations to pep-up talks or give an individual slant. Here the Trust can help with information and can sometimes buddy up a speaker with a keen photographer. If you would like to know more, please get in touch (see above).
Talks pay off
Last year proved a record breaker in cash raised directly from talks given by the 105 volunteers who made up the speaker's network. From January to December 2006, £8,000 was added to the Trust’s charitable income as a direct result of talks. But, in a sense, that is just the beginning. The indirect benefits are the spreading of the good word about the Trust and the value of trees, the recruitment of new members and volunteers, the later donations made as a result of learning about our work or simply the inspiration to plant a tree – the ripples spread far and wide.
VOLUNTEER NEWSLETTER 13
WO O D L A N D G RO U P S
The Woodland Trust supports over 250 groups who work wonders in the woods, reaping all the benefits of teamwork.
The Community Woodland Network past and present
Our Community Woodland Network is entering a new phase after four successful years supporting groups in woods all over the country. In that time the Network has: Signed up 250 groups Distributed 79 grants totalling over £100,000 which groups have used for equipment, training and events Created a well-used website (see below) where members can set up their own mini-website, share information with other groups and check out the latest news on grants, events and useful publications Offered continuing support with advice on setting up a new group, a quarterly newsletter and a biannual conference Community Woodland Network groups don’t have to be working in a Woodland Trust wood because the network enables us to act as facilitators with the ultimate aim of seeing as many native woods as possible properly cared for. Now we’ve set our sights on making the network even bigger. For more information, visit www.yourwoods.org.uk, or call 01476 581155.
Lynda Brown talks to a group whose efforts have brought a disillusioned neighbourhood new hope
A recent initiative between the Woodland Trust and
residents living near St Benedicts Wood, Eccleston, Merseyside has shown how local partnerships can work wonders. Eighteen months ago, St Benedicts Wood, an urban woodland site – which boasts a flourishing stock of Elm trees – became a meeting point for gangs of youths indulging in drinking parties and other anti–social behaviour, causing distress to the local community. With the support and advice of Tim Kirwin, Woodland Trust woodland officer, they formed the Friends of St Benedicts Wood and decided to tackle the problem head on with some simple, practical steps. They began with a massive litter cleanup; removed the paved area where the youths congregated; encouraged groups of residents to walk the woods regularly; and raised £1,200 to install wooden bollards to prevent vehicle
access, planting trees donated by the Woodland Trust behind the bollards to provide a natural barrier. Today the youth problem has improved. ‘It’s been hard work, but worth it,’ says Janice Crompton, the group’s secretary, who with the chair, Sarah Hagen, organises a newsletter which is delivered to 300 residents. ‘Working with the Woodland Trust has helped us appreciate how lucky we are to have St Benedicts, and the Friends group is helping to knit the local community together more. It’s fulfilling to be able to help restore the wood to its former glory. ‘We’ve planted a wild flower meadow and held our first children’s event. This year we’re building our own website, will be holding community nature talks, tree planting – and we’re hoping to publish our own photographic calendar just in time for Christmas!’.
New group for Londonthorpe
The first seeds have been sown for a new group
at the Woodland Trust’s Londonthorpe Wood in Grantham, Lincolnshire. Already, a group of volunteers has been coming along to regular tasks days and, in the longer term, we are hoping to form a ‘Friends’ group. If you live locally and would like to get involved in caring for this attractive, historic wood, please get in touch.
Next Community Woodland Network conference Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July 2007 Stoke Rochford Hall, Lincolnshire
Photos courtesy St Benedicts Wood volunteers
A community rallies on Merseyside
14 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
tel: 01476 581111
F R E Q U E N T LY A S K E D QUESTIONS
Is my insurance valid
Before using your car, please consider whether you are using the most
when I use my own car to travel somewhere as part of my volunteering for the Trust?
environmentally friendly form of transport that is practical. The Woodland Trust encourages and supports this but, we do appreciate that, as woods are often off the beaten track, car use will sometimes be necessary. If you do need to use your car while you are volunteering for us, you should tell your insurers in writing. This is important because failure to inform your insurers may invalidate your cover – but informing them shouldn’t result in an increase in your premium. If you are likely to give a lift to other volunteers, or carry tools or other equipment, again you must inform your insurers. Of course, it is essential that your vehicle has a valid MOT (if appropriate) and that you have a valid driving licence. We may ask you to provide copies of your driving licence, insurance documents and MOT certificate for our records. Finally, if a volunteer is asked to drive a Woodland Trust vehicle, they will be insured under our own policy as a named driver and will need to provide a valid driving licence to ensure cover.
Can I take wood from felled trees which have just been left on the ground? And why do you leave dead trees standing in the woods – aren't these dangerous?
In a word no, you shouldn’t remove logs which you see lying around in the woods. Dead
wood, both standing and fallen, has a high ecological value within the woodland habitat. Many different types of bats, birds, amphibians, mammals, fungi and insects make use of dead wood. As a responsible landowner, we have a duty of care to regularly inspect the trees within our woods and carry out appropriate remedial action. In the case of standing deadwood, it all boils down to location. A standing dead tree close to a road, housing or a busy footpath may be potentially dangerous and sometimes we have to remove them. But a standing dead tree in a more remote part of the wood can often be left to rot away in peace, providing a fantastic habitat for many different woodland dwellers. For your own safety, if you see a tree in one of our woods that you think might be dangerous, please do not try to deal with it yourself. Contact the woodland officer responsible for the site, or our office in Grantham as soon as you the tree and deal with it appropriately.
can and they can come and check
VOLUNTEER NEWSLETTER 15
VO L U N T E E R O P P O RT U N I T I E S
If you’re not already a Woodland Trust volunteer or would like to do more, here is another selection of volunteer opportunities. If you want to help native woods, there will be a role to suit you whatever your skills or circumstances. For more ideas, or for further details about any of the roles below, contact the volunteers team or visit the website at www.woodland-trust.org.uk/getinvolved
Office based administrators
Based in Bangor
Other opportunities in this newsletter
Ancient tree hunters UKwide pages 1 & 3 Ancient tree verifiers UKwide Flower swatch photographers UKwide Phenology UKwide Ancient woodland inventory researchers Northern Ireland Hedgerow and streamside surveyors Lincolnshire Tree wardens Essex Wood wardens Newport/ Monmouthshire Speakers Newport/ Monmouthshire Wood wardens Kent page 3
(Northern Ireland), Grantham or Edinburgh
Woodland Trust offices are
looking for regular general admin support. If you can easily get to one of the places above and have basic IT knowledge and good organisational and interpersonal skills we need your help. In our friendly offices, we will offer interesting tasks that will help you to develop your skills. continue for the next year or so. To make the change go as smoothly as possible, for staff with roles arising from our communications with supporters, like-minded
page 5 page 4
and supporters, we would like organisations and a number of volunteers to get contractors. involved with testing the new facilities that the systems offer. Whatever your skills or equipment, we would like to hear from you as we want to test as many different scenarios as possible. This may involve data entry, collating information or communicating with our contacts by email, letter or phone. The role can be carried out from home and you can choose which activities you would like to be involved in and tell us how much time you can offer. A PC with internet access and telephone will be required for some, but not all, of the activities.
page 8 page 8
Website and IT testers
The Trust’s websites and
many of our IT systems are currently undergoing a full revamp which is expected to
Behind the scenes support
page 9 page 9
Our team of administrators
need people who can help
Woods Under Threat plan researchers UKwide page 10 Task group members Lincolnshire page 13
We welcome contributions to this newsletter. Short items or ideas for longer articles can be sent to: email: email@example.com post: Sallyanne Flemons, Editor, the Volunteer Newsletter, The Woodland Trust, Autumn Park, Grantham, Lincolnshire NG31 6LL
16 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
tel: 01476 581111
N E W S & C O N TAC T S
A happy ending
The Woodland Trust’s urban sites are often not the prettiest, or the richest in wildlife, and they can be very high maintenance. But, they are extremely valuable for their ability to make woods accessible to people from all walks of life. Our Community Wood Warden programme in Northern Ireland has just closed after three successful years working at ten of the Province’s most difficult Trust sites. With the help of the Big Lottery Fund, 60 voluntary wood wardens were recruited. They gave a total of 25,000 hours of their time, attending 10 training courses, and helping to run 124 events, planting 3,000 trees and involving 3,000 children. Now, there is a marked difference in anti-social behaviour in these woods, tempered by the strength of community involvement. Although the programme has officially ended, with our support, many of these wardens will continue to take care of these important places. The part I enjoy most is . . . helping recycle, and raising money for the Trust. I'm involved in the Christmas Card Recycling Scheme at work. I collect cards throughout the year and we sent 1.9 metric tonnes of them this time. I also collect mobile phones and toner cartridges for the Trust; we have about 14,000 staff mainly working for the Department for Work and Pensions and the HM Revenue & Customs. My ideal natural place is. . . North Northumberland. The woods look best in. . . spring, when the wild cherry and hawthorn blossoms. I was first inspired by woods when... I used to spend my school holidays on a farm near Holy Island and spent the summer horse riding in the woods and on the beach. I learnt to respect nature from an early age. My other interests I’m also a volunteer for the WWF and used to run the local volunteer groups. I'm a panelologist (comic book collector) and am restoring a 1972 vintage Japanese motorbike.
Newcastle upon Tyne
Thanks to the following who offered their considerable talents free of charge to help put together this issue:
Bennet Aldous, cartoonist Mandy Brilliant, proofreader Lynda Brown, feature writer Andi Clevely, feature writer David Goymour, assistant editor Mandy Hillier, speakers’ page editor Phil Marshall, ancient tree writer Frances Nichols, proofreader John Northover, feature writer Carole Sutton, picture researcher
Getting in touch
The Woodland Trust Autumn Park, Grantham, Lincolnshire NG31 6LL Tel: 01476 581111 BT Textdirect: 18001 01476 581135 email: email@example.com www.woodland-trust.org.uk/getinvolved
Please recycle this newsletter or reuse it by leaving it in a public place like a library or doctor’s surgery.
…and to those who agreed to be interviewed, completed questionnaires or provided images free of charge.
The Woodland Trust logo is a registered trademark Registered Charity No. 294344 A non-profit making company limited by guarantee Registered in England No. 1982873 Ê Printed on 100% recycled paper 3511/06/07
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