Walsham Wild Wood aims to improve further the village environment through the restoration of woodland.
The group is made up of people who feel passionately that we all benefit from contact with wild spaces, providing a sense of connection with the countryside, a space to walk and exercise and to experience nature.
These green spaces provide a haven for wildlife and contribute to maintaining the biodiversity of our countryside.
Local children are part of the Walsham Wild Wood project through their Forest School programme.
Walsham Wild Wood group lease a field from the Old Town Trust. The wood is located just behind the allotments and the goal of the project is to create a native wild wood. The planting is therefore, carefully planned to include only native species (trees or shrubs) which will ultimately create an authentic native space central to the purpose of the group.
The group carry out regular maintenance and planting work. The last of the gaps have been filled as of autumn 2017. The organisers welcome new members who wish to be involved in realising the goal of the project.
Walsham-le-Willows Primary School won a Lottery Grant of £4,500 to create a local woodland. The school also received a grant of £500 from the Walsham Open Gardens Weekend for the same project.
Daniel Moore, a pupil at the school, won the competition to design the logo (at top of page) for the woodland.
In conjunction with the Green Light Trust a steering committee from the local community was set up and the work began.
saplings were planted having been donated by the Woodland Trust including an oak sapling from the Sandringham Estate to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. This was planted at the top of the main ride by Luke Sargeant, a pupil at the school.
Regular open mornings have continued for planting and maintenance. The group meets regularly to discuss and plan what needs to be done next. The group is grateful to Richard Belson who maintains the Wood in between the organised mornings. The also benefits from the donation of bark mulch by David Brown.
A Sponsor a Tree Scheme was introduced for a while and this was very successful in involving families and individuals with the wood.
The group have created the Forest School area at the far top corner of the wood for visits from the school. This includes two tarpaulin posts for the school’s tarpaulin for shelter for the pupils. Marshmallow roasting and poppy sowing mornings are popular events amongst local school children.
The group built an entrance to the wood. Designed by John Stebbing, it is loosely based on the lychgate to the cemetery. The oak frame was installed by John, Richard Belson and Alison Martin. John, Alison and Constance Whitaker carved text on three of the cross beams. This construction was built with a generous donation from the Clark Bradbury Charitable Trust, together with a donations from the Walsham Open Gardens Weekend and Waitrose.
The late Dr. Alec Russell was a loyal supporter of the project from its inception and a bench was made and installed at the Wild Wood to celebrate the Queen‘s 90th birthday and as a tribute to Dr Russell to recognise his help and support. The group were delighted to add a plague to the bench in acknowledging Dr Russell’s support for the project.
Walsham Wild Wood is for everyone – if you would like to help do join us!
Lorna MacKinnon | 01359 259140