What's Going On?

The summer has rushed upon us and planning for next season is well underway. We've been building a base for the group, processing last seasons timber and attending the TIMBER festival.

As always it's been a busy time, not just for the usual business, but we have lots of enquiries regarding what we do and how we might fit or work with other groups and activities.

Our relationship with the National Forest team continues to open doors and provides opportunities. Working with the National Forest YHA being a great recent example of this.

We have again been successful in securing a woodland management grant for continued work at Woodcote and have secured a woodland enterprise grant from the NFC for the purchase of a winch to assist with problem tree management.


A Home for Heartwood

The relationship we have with the team at CEEP has been a mutually productive one for some time, but now we have taken this to the next level. We have a great site for our base. The benefits of basing ourselves at CEEP include a fantastic woodland area where we can store our timber, hold small events and meetings and generally "hang out" in the woods. Steve and Tracy have made us all very welcome there and our relationship with the participants is growing.

We have held a number of working party days where we have constructed a storage shed and a number of firewood stores. There is still work to do there so please come along to future dates if you can spare a few hours. New dates will be in the events calendar soon.

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TIMBER festival

Heartwood were invited to take part in the second TIMBER festival, this time in co-operation with CEEP and Darren Abell. This meant our presence was larger and more diverse giving far more interest for festival goers. In total 25 volunteers (including a few partners) came along to run our exhibit and to enjoy the wider festival. First of all thank you to everyone who joined us there and helped out. We all agreed it had been a very successful event, not only for sales of charcoal, but the engagement we had with the public and their interest in what we do. There are certainly new members joining the group as a result and some great leads for us to follow-up on as regards opportunities for the group.

The National Forest team and Wild Rumpus who jointly organised the event have thanked us for our support and the improvements we made to our presence. We have asked for a similar position in the woods next year, so anyone who is interested in attending please take some time to speak to one of the group who went this year, I'm sure they will convince you that the festival is a great event to attend. TIMBER is held on the first weekend of July.

Longer Term View

This coming season we will continue our work in Woodcote Wood, where we have a two year plan and contract. There has recently been a change of Woodland Trust Ranger for our area, so we have taken the opportunity to meet with him to show him what we have achieved so far in Woodcote, what our plans are for the next two seasons and also to start discussions on a longer term plan with the woodland Trust in other local woods.

A number of the committee have already visited other WT woods in the area and are now assessing what we can offer. Once this proposal is in draft we will meet with the WT again to look at developing a 5 - 10 year plan.

We will remain faithful to Chris at DWP over this time, so there will continue to be sessions there and we also plan to keep our plans flexible enough to take in any other community opportunities such as Donisthorpe Orchard which we thinned last season.

The coming season

We now have draft plans for the coming season. There should be a similar number of sessions to last season, but we are trying to spread them better and bring more into the first part of the season just in case we get weather issues ( we were very lucky last winter).

We plan to release the dates for the first half of the season (Oct - Dec) at the end of August, but we will send a specific note out to everyone to ensure you are aware when the booking system is open.

There will be one session per month at DWP and weekend/mid-week sessions at Woodcote.

There will also be another "taster session" on the 22nd September (venue to be finalised) to be publicised soon so get the word out to potential new members. Feel free to inform any friends or family.