Monday, 23 October 2017


 This wood could be lost to the community if the Woodland Trust get their way!
Many people know of Park Wood.  A small wood which is found on the London Road between Wallis Road and Queens Road, opposite Queens Enclosure.  It is a Woodland Trust Wood.  They took it over nearly 30 years ago and for the first 10 years they virtually ignored it.  It became shadowed with Sycamore and laurel.  It became waterlogged.  It became dark and dangerous with litter,  junkies, used needles, fires and in fact people were attacked in there.  Not a place you wanted to enter.  Then the Friends of Park Wood were formed and for nearly 20 years the friends (consisting of local residents) have maintained the wood always following a management plan as written by the Woodland Trust.  The wood was transformed to what it is today.  A place where you can walk.  Schools use it to teach children about the environment.  The bluebells flourish.  People walk their dogs in there.  It is a pretty wood.  A wood for the community.  SO WHY ARE THE WOODLAND TRUST INSISTING THE FRIENDS SIGN AN AGREEMENT WHICH WILL MEAN THEY CAN NO LONGER LOOK AFTER THE WOOD IN THE WAY THEY HAVE ALWAYS DONE.

The Friends have obtained grants and sponsorship to pay for their own Public Liability Insurance, for tools, plants, trees and events but they will no longer be able to without permission.  Activities will be strictly monitored.  Did you enjoy the Easter Egg Hunt? It is likely that will not happen next year.

The Woodland Trust say if the Friends refuse to sign the agreement they will no longer be able to look after the wood and the Woodland Trust will do so.  They did not do it before and it was neglected.  Will the odd visit 2 or 3 times a year keep it looking as it does now??  

This wood has been saved by the council as a designated green space because of the work the Friends have done - keeping it clean and user friendly.  If it becomes neglected and overgrown as it did before it is possible it the protection could be removed and the land developed.

There is a special meeting of the Friends on THURSDAY 2 NOVEMBER AT 7.30 in the Baptist Church on London Road.  

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