What's going on?

As always just after the New Year the season seems to be running away with us. The good news is we are on target to complete our committed work and even better news we have many new members. Induction of new members has been steady at most sessions this season meaning we continue to grow - just taking a look at the stats this year shows how we have moved on since last year.

Another aspect we also need to focus on at this time of year is next season. The committee have been working hard to agree how we want to use our fantastic resource next season. This means which woodlands we will be working in, how many sessions will there be and how does that fit with our mission and vision. More about that below.

We will also continue to focus on Heartwood HQ where we want too create a relaxed woodland environment for our members and their families to spend time. Again more on that below

Thank you all for your support in everything we do, it's very rewarding to work with such a dedicated and enthusiastic group of people.


Session Roles

Following on from the last newsletter we have had a much more enthusiastic response to the call for First Aid training. Helen is in the process of making arrangements with the training company and will be getting back to everyone who has expressed an interest. There is still time to register your interest by emailing Helen on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

There are other training opportunities available, so please let Helen know if you want to take a wider role in the group.

Other Opportunities

As a group we have lots of external interested parties contacting us. We try to explore every one to see what extra dimension this may bring to the group and how this fits with some or all of our members.

A few examples of this have been:-

  • Mimi's wood. A privately owned woodland near to Bretby which is in need of thinning and rescue of the planted trees from self-set Willow. We held a session there in November last year and a further one is planned for the 22nd February. If you would like to help please register on the booking system
  • We are again planning to attend TIMBER this year. There is going to be a slightly different slant on our presence, but more of that later in the season when we have agreed details with the TIMBER team
  • The Well-Being team at NWLDC have also contacted and paid a visit to see what we do and how that can help with our well-being and physical health. We hope to work with them more in the future. In the meantime they are holding a family monster walk on Sunday 16th February. They are looking for volunteers so if anyone would like to help with management of the car park please contact Emily Rodbourne at NWLDC This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Woodland Strategy

You will be well aware that the work at Woodcote has gone very well this season thanks to the efforts of Graham Bowers and Simon Starkey for management of the operations, but largely thanks to the effort and number of session attendances from everyone.

The committee have agreed to put a 5 year woodland plan in place so we know where we are going and to ensure the sustainability of the group and it's timber supply.

To this end we have met with David Logan of the Woodland Trust and agreed an outline plan to carry out work in Foxley Wood. This is a much larger wood which should give us quite a few seasons of work. The discussions and plans are still in progress, but it's an exciting prospect that we will be looking after another Woodland Trust site after we complete Woodcote early next season.

We are also in discussions with the National Forest team looking at other opportunities and woodlands in the local area.

Heartwood HQ

Our presence at CEEP has provided many opportunities for the group and a chance to work with and support the CEEP team.

For those of you who haven't been to the site, we have a small base there in a patch of woodland which we use for firewood and the charcoal retort storage. We are looking to expand the facility to give everyone in the group a place to meet, help support Heartwood, socialise and participate in other woodland activities such as Greenwood crafts.

We have applied for a grant to help us build the base and if successful will need your help to make it happen.

Nest box construction on the last working party day was a great success with around a dozen members taking part. These will be installed in Woodcote in the near future

The working party dates are on the event booking system, so please take a look and come along if you can spare a little time.

We are also in the process of gathering materials to make a few products to sell, again to help group funds. These will include Besom making, Charcoal Making, Christmas Reindeers and Swedish candles. You really don't need any experience as the whole point is that we learn together in a pleasant and friendly environment.

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