As mentioned in last month's newsletter we completed all of the work committed through the grant applications. With this done we were able to claim the final stages of the grants which have now been paid into our bank account. We will give the overall summary of our financial position at the AGM in September, but I'm pleased to confirm we are in good health and just where we wanted to be in preparation for next season.
This leads us into next year's work and grant applications. After discussions earlier in the year with the senior team at the National Forest we are planning to expand "Heartwood" by around 50% during the next year. Again I will give more detail at the AGM, but there are a few important points to note.
We have entered into a formal contract with the Woodland Trust for two seasons work at Woodcote near Smisby - this will provide enough thinning work to supply the group and support growth as it happens. We have been more ambitious with the amount of work and the potential number of sessions we want to achieve next year - this will mean more income, more leaders and more members. Exciting times indeed for Heartwood!
Owl Boxes installed at Willesley Wood completed the grant work for the season
The use of voluntary resource across the National Forest is vital in achieving the objectives of bringing woodlands in management. Heartwood have been a leading light in the use of volunteers and as such we have been asked to work with the National Forest over the coming years to grow the concept, initially in the Heart of the Forest. To this end we have started making plans on how we can achieve this. The National Forest and Black 2 Green are providing further funding to ensure we have the tools and equipment to run more sessions and even look at parallel sessions on the same date.
When it comes to volunteers we are planning to actively look to recruit new members. To date word of mouth has provided a steady flow of new members, but we are now using other means to tell our story and seek new people - if you know of any potential members please pass on our details and ask them to get in touch. We have already had an article published in the "Making Local Woodlands Work" newsletter and the TIMBER festival will be a great shop-window for HCWG.
TIMBER Festival Update
We met with the organisers just over a week ago to discuss our involvement in the TIMBER festival. There are some great opportunities for us, so the plans will be that:
- Heartwood will supply firewood for two camp fires to be ran on all three evenings
- Heartwood will be running the brand new charcoal retort (see other article) on three evenings adjacent to one of the discussion/story telling areas to provide a talking point, atmosphere and a demonstration of how charcoal can be produced
- Chainsaw demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday morning
- Running a corporate day with Lex Autoleasing in one of the weeks leading up to the festival to assist the NFC with site preparations.
- Supplying bagged firewood from our stock at CEEP - this is now at 16-18% moisture content so is seasoning very well
- Supplying bagged charcoal from our own retort (and potentially working with CEEP and Darren Abell to ensure demand can be met
Wild Rumpus are very excited about our involvement and although they are not able to give forecasts of volumes of firewood and charcoal they are happy that we use this year as a learning exercise for future events.
Wild Rumpus are still looking for event volunteers for all sorts of roles if anyone is interested please follow this link to register and find out more
Heartwood Charcoal Retort
A Hookway Charcoal Retort
End of Season Event
As you should be aware the end of season BBQ will be held on the 5th May between 10:00 - 14:00. We plan to have the food available around midday, but you are welcome to come along at any time to meet other members of the group and have a general chat about last season and the coming season. The BBQ will be held at Donisthorpe Woodland Park. It's the usual parking area we use for Woodfuel session - Church Street, Donisthorpe, DE12 7PY. Vehicular entrance is shared with the Donisthorpe Miners’ Welfare Centre. We'll hold the event just inside the park near to the picnic area.
Data Protection Legislation
I'm sure most people will have heard of the new data protection laws that become effective in late May of this year (GDPR). You may have received notification from organisations you are part of asking for explicit permission to retain your data or even continue to keep your contact information on mailing lists. HCWG has to comply with this legislation so the committee are working to ensure we take the correct actions. As a result of this we will be contacting everyone to ensure you give us your permission to use your information as part of being a member of this group. At present the "membership" is very informal, but we are reviewing this so again you will get more information. There are no plans for membership fees, but we may need to provide a formal application and membership cards. We will keep you updated.
Shortheath Farm Woodland Management Plan
Interesting Sites you may want to take a look at
woodlandantics.wordpress.com - A great source of information for Greenwood and Woodland Crafts
livingwoodsmagazine.co.uk/ - Free magazine packed with useful information and articles
www.wildrumpus.org.uk - Joint organisers of the TIMBER festival.