Community picnic in Merton Wood 2012
Celebration for the licence to occupy Grove Piece, December 2016.
Friends of Blyth Woods were invited to join us in Grove Piece for cake and a hot drink. September 2017
Blyth Woods are Tree Wardens for Wenhaston
The Tree Warden Scheme is a national initiative to enable people to play an active role in conserving and enhancing their local trees and woods. The scheme was founded and is co-ordinated by The Tree Council.
Tree Wardens are volunteers, appointed by parish councils or other community organisations, who gather information about their local trees, get involved in local tree matters and encourage local practical projects related to the trees and woods.
Training and Workshops
Courses attended –
Charcoal production and Green wood working 2013 GLT
Woodland Archaeology 2014 provided by Green Light Trust (GLT)
Forest Schools 2014 provided by Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Woodland Flora, Small woven items 2015 GLT
Ufford Community Wood visit 2015,
Anglian Woodland Partnership – Woodland Communication Day 2015
Suffolk Naturalists Conference 2016
Freshwater fieldwork, Thelnetham Fen 2016
Dead hedge building – April 2016
Ancient Tree Forum meeting at Ickworth – April 2016
Woodland Communication Day – Horringer, 11.11.16
Volunteering in Suffolk – Orford, 19.11.16
Tree warden meeting at Cockfield – 7.12.16
Met with Little Ouse Headwaters Project for advice – 4.2.17
First Aid in the Work Place – 4.11.17
Suffolk Naturalists Conference 2018
Funding Blyth Woods
Once Blyth Woods had found a suitable site for the creation of a community wood ways had to be found to pay for it!
Grove Piece was owned by the Town Estate Church Charity and was being leased to a local farmer. Initially therefore approaches had to be made to Roger Desborough to relinquish the lease and we are grateful that he did so most promptly.
Approaches were made to a number of organisations offering grants specifically for the type of project we were undertaking, though some were not permitted to fund land purchases and others would only give grants to organisations that had a charitable status, which we didn’t at the time.
Our first successful application to fund the purchase of Grove Piece came at the end of 2016 with a grant of £7,500 from Essex & Suffolk Water – you can imagine the delight of the members of the Blyth Woods steering group! We then hit a purple patch in the Spring of 2017 with donations from the Woodland Trust (£7,500), Suffolk Coastal District Council (£7,000), the Alfred Williams Charitable Trust (£2,000), Suffolk Secrets AONB (£2,000) and then more recently Suffolk County Council (£1,000). Most of these grants come with conditions, often time limited and restricted to specific criteria, and we have to report back occasionally. The total of these generous donations was sufficient to purchase Grove Piece and to cover our legal costs.
In addition, as part of an application to cover the cost of a valuation of the site, 2 members of the steering group were required to attend a Green Dragons Den (organised by East Suffolk Greenprint Forum) – they successfully won £500!
Members of the steering group have all contributed to this achievement but much is owed to the pioneering work of Sue Gow, ably followed by Sally Amery.
Even before a suitable site for the wood had been identified, fund raising had begun in order to cover Blyth Woods day to day costs. Income from the sale of produce at village events, generous private donations and money from Friends of Blyth Woods set the ball rolling.
Specifically, a grant of £2,000 from the Postcode Lottery has financed an interpretation board which will be erected at Grove Piece soon. £700 from Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB and £486 from the Saxmundham branch of Waitrose and a further £2,500 from the Woodland Trust will fund the pond construction and an osier bed, equipment and also training and education matters.
We are grateful to everyone who has contributed financially and to those who have given their time voluntarily, to the value of many thousands of pounds, to get Blyth Woods to where it is today.
We aim to keep in touch with the local community and other organisations that promote and support our aims. In Wenhaston we contribute articles to the local magazine, the Warbler and have stalls and displays at village events. We attend conferences and meetings to promote our group and develop contacts.