Community Woodland

Opening of the Community Woodland

The official opening of the Community Woodland/Country Park will take place on Wednesday 26th September, 2018 at 10am. The event will last around half an hour and local Schools have been invited along to participate. The Town Mayor and two pupils from St Thomas Wharton Academy who are members of the Community Woodland Steering Group will cut the ribbon to declare the project officially open and a briefing will then be delivered by Doncaster Council’s Biodiversity Officer on the scope for development of the site and potential use as a “learning classroom” going forwards. Following this, there will be a walk through the site on the newly established woodland pathway that has been created over the Summer months. The Steering Group are considering next phases of the project to create a meadow effect and establish some benches/seating areas and hope to be able to deliver this over the next 12 months, in support of the long term vision of creating a recreational amenity for the enjoyment of the local community. Members of the local community are welcome to attend the opening event.

A brief summary of the development of the Woodland site from its inception, nearly two years ago, is set out below :-

The Town Council have established a Community Steering Group tasked with developing a vision to bring some former dis-used densely overgrown allotment gardens adjacent to the Auburn Road Allotment site and the Martinwells Lake, back in to community use.

The Steering Group is embarking on a long term project (over the next 5 years and beyond) to look to open up this land for community use as a form of Country Park which might encompass new pathways, a cycle route, new tree planting schemes and recreational amenity with picnic benches. An intial start-up grant was awarded by the Woodland Trust in September 2016 which enabled the Group to commission a Landscape Master Plan.  In addition, the Woodland Trust have also approved a Woodland Support grant of £10000 and this will enable phase 1 of the project to commence in January/February 2017 which will largely involve clearing away a large swathe of brambles in this overgrown area, followed by weed killing and the safe removal of any hazardous material found to be present.

The Steering Group held its inaugural meeting on 19th September, 2016 and it includes representation drawn from the Town Council, Friends of Martinwells Lake, The Auburn Road Allotment Association, Yorkshire Main Heritage Trust, The Hill Top Associates, Edlington Community Organisation and Yorkshire Main Community Centre.

A second meeting was held in November 2016 where approval was given to apply for funding from the DMBC Environmental Flexible Fund to help towards the costs of training and the provision of tools and equipment for volunteers. In addition, this will enable the purchase of tree packs. It is envisaged that following site clearance, community volunteers and local School children will be asked to become involved in the project to support tree planting. Further phases and potential funding bids to further develop and open up this recreational amenity will be considered at the next meeting in January 2017.

Further updates with regard to progress with the project will be displayed here.

Project start on site – Monday 16th January, 2017 – We are please to confirm that the contractor has commenced clearance of the overgrown brambles on site as phase 1 of our project.

Images of start on site, photographs of the Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary of the Project Steering Group with the contractor from “Dig it All Agricultural”. Further scheduled phases of the project are likely to comprise removal of some trees on site and new tree planting via a Woodland Trust free tree pack with a variety of species, weedkiller application, rotivation and sculpting of the site to the desired shape

The Community Woodland Project Steering Group met on 21st February and again on 28th March to review progress and next steps regarding progressing clearance and tidying up of the site in conjunction with local volunteers. A free tree pack of 105 saplings has been donated by the Woodland Trust and will be planted in the near future. The Steering Group have also approved the felling of some non- native conifer trees on site and have arranged disposal of surplus debris from the site. Members of the community can find further information on what is happening and updates on progress either via the dedicated facebook page

Volunteer Day- Saturday 6th May commencing 10am

A volunteer day has been scheduled for Saturday 6/5/17 for clearance of surface debris across the Community Woodland site following extensive contractor works to clear a large part of the overgrown brambles and vegetation from across the site that has taken place over the last 2-3 months. All are welcome to attend and contribute their efforts to the further tidying up and improvement of the site. Appropriate tools and equipment will be supplied, The clearance will commence at 10am so come along and get involved. If you are interested please contact the Town Council Clerk to register, Tel 01709 770552 or by e-mail edlingtontc@gmail;.com

Project Update – August 2017

Improvement works are still progressing on-site, with weed spraying having been applied last month to a large portion of the open space area. This has been carried out in conjunction with support from Holme Hall Quarry at Stainton who are keen to support the local community woodland project and put something back in to the local community.  The Quarry  have also gifted a formal entrance gate and “kissing gate” on the boundary of the site along Martinwells Lane and some additional boundary fencing to help secure and protect the site going forward. Plans are also in place to secure around 50-60 tonnes of aggregate from the Quarry to enable a start on the creation of formal pathways through the site. This “in-kind” support is greatly appreciated by the Community Steering Group and together with remaining grant monies from the Woodland Trust, will mean that the development of the site can be progressed without financial support having to be given by the Town Council. Pictured below are members of the Community Steering Group at the site entrance alongside the new gate and fencing.

Community Woodland – Tree Planting Day 30th October 2017 – Pictured are Community Woodland Steering Group Members and local volunteers planting the Woodland Trust’s free tree pack of 100 mixed saplings at the community tree planting day at the Auburn Road site.