What's Going On?

All the hard work throughout the summer is coming to a conclusion ready for the season launch at the AGM on the 10th September. The group is changing in many ways, all for the better I believe. We have a stronger strategy and even better control of the management of the group and what we do. We have had great attendance at the committee meetings over recent months from a number of members who have now expressed an interest in formally joining the committee. I always think it's a sign of a strong group when there is a desire from the members to influence its management and become involved in its development - please let us know if you are interested in joining the committee as a formal officer or a co-opted member



I'm sure you will have already seen that the dates for next year's TIMBER festival have been announced (5/6/7 July) HCWG will be taking an active role again which will become clearer as we start engaging with the organisers over the coming months. Please make sure you talk to someone who attended this year to get a real feel for what it's about.

Publicity and Facebook

Those of you who use Facebook will have seen that we now have a public page and are using this to promote the group. The idea is to promote the group and attract new members, so if you use Facebook please like and share our page with your friends - they may not directly be interested, but the more we spread the word the better the chance of finding people who are.
Helen and Kev also appeared on the afternoon show on HermitageFM, again we ran through the aims of the group, what the benefits of joining are and how to get in touch.
Spread the word everyone!

Woodfuel Session Booking

Everyone should have received an email from Dave regarding the great work he has been doing in the closed season to improve the way we book onto Woodfuel sessions (and other HCWG events). It is important you follow the guidance Dave has provided and raise any questions to make sure you do not miss out on the sessions you would like to attend, here is the mail content...

As the Heartwood Community Woodfuel Group membership has grown over the last 12 months and with the increase in the number of sessions next season there will be a change to how you book onto sessions from the start of the 2018/2019 season.
We now have an online session booking system that will allow members to directly manage their own session bookings. As a Member you will be able to:

  • see a list of all sessions and the number of spaces available
  • book onto a session
  • cancel a session booking if you can no longer attend a session
  • add your self to the waiting list if the session is fully booked.
  • see a list of all sessions that you have booked onto.
By Monday 27th August all Members will receive two emails. The first will contain your logon credentials to the Heartwood Community Woodfuel Group website and the second will include instructions on how to use the new booking system. These instructions will also be available on the website as a help page.
Unfortunately a logon account will only be able to books sessions spaces for a single member, therefore each member must have thier own email address.

This coming season we will initially be working at Willesley Wood to complete the work we have been doing there for the last couple of seasons. We want to do these early to take advantage of the drier conditions before the access ride gets muddy. We will also be running one session each month at DWP with Chris C as we do every season. The remainder of the sessions will be at Woodcote near to Smisby and potentially a few at Grangewood. All of the details will be made very clear along with the dates etc.
More details on our operational plans will be discussed at the AGM.

Woodcote Visit

A staggering 33 people attended the walk around Woodcote on the 1st August to get a first look at the woodlands we will be spending most of our time in this season. It was great to see so many members both old and new so keen to get familiar with the site. From discussions during the evening it is very clear that everyone is excited about the new season and working in a new woodland. We were also interested to test the capacity of the site for people and vehicles to confirm we can manage a similar number of attendees at each Woodfuel session to those at Willesley last year.
Since the visit we have received the formally signed version of the contract with the Woodland Trust, so we are committed to delivering on the plan we have agreed. This will of course in turn deliver the funding associated with the grant we have successfully bid for with the NFC.

Leadership Training

Graham Bowers will be running a specific session during September for anyone interested in running HCWG sessions during the coming season and beyond. We plan to make this a two stage process where the initial get together will involve running through the way the sessions are managed, including important areas around risk and safety. This will give an insight into what we currently do to make the sessions safe and productive. The second stage will be leadership shadowing at the sessions in October to bring the role to life. 
We are increasing the number of sessions this year as the group and our commitments grow, so if you are interested in helping us lead the group please let us know. We already have a number of people who have registered their interest, so if you have let us know previously you don't need to do it again.

Woodland Event

Chris Conway, Robin Brookes and Heartwood have been planning to run an event in DWP during the coming season. The idea is to give local schools and residents first hand experience of what woodland management actually is and how it is carried out, in the process developing a new access route through one of the compartments in DWP. Dates of 9/10 November have been pencilled in and planning of what form the demonstrations will take is now starting. More details will emerge over the next few weeks.

Interesting Sites you may want to take a look at

https://woodlandantics.wordpress.com - A great source of information for Greenwood and Woodland Crafts
http://livingwoodsmagazine.co.uk/ - Free magazine packed with useful information and articles
http://www.wildrumpus.org.uk - Joint organisers of the TIMBER festival.