During the first 3 months of 2018, local Tesco shoppers voted for our ‘Green Woodland Community Project’ project in the Bags of Help Scheme. Thanks to this support, we received a £2K grant from Tesco which helped us to fund some additional activities towards the end of the project.

Fast forward to June 2018 and all the work on this project has now been completed. Members of the community have been involved in improving access to their local woodland and our volunteer teams have spent time repairing paths and improving the character of the woodland environment.

The project has been a great success and helped to create a stable future for Sensicall Park woodland.

Background information about the ‘Green Woodland Community Project’

The full project lasted over a year, running from April 2017 until June 2018. It’s seen 15 days of hard work and meant long term improvements to the woodland in Sensicall Park, Oughtibridge.

The woodland was previously quite challenging to traverse and meant that it was largely undiscovered by members of the public.

However, the changes brought about by this project have made it much easier to visit, enabling people of all ages to connect with the natural world and discover the abundant wildlife there.

What improvements have been made to the woodland?

We have carried out step and path repairs and improved the character of the woodland through small scale selective felling and tree planting. Public access has also been improved throughout the woodland.

A felling license covered all of the light tree thinning that took place and was justified through the aims of reducing competitive vegetation growth and increasing sunlight levels thus resulting in balanced floral and tree growth enabling opportunities for varied wildlife presence.

In the final stage of the project, we planted 12 Wild Cherry trees and 8 Hornbeam trees throughout the woodland. These new additions will provide extra diversity and resilience for the woodland in the face of climate change, helping to secure a stable future for the woodland.

Who carried out the work?

Thanks go to all of our regular mid-week volunteers who spent over 300 hours supporting the work required in the woodland.

During the project they received practical training in woodland management, gaining and developing skills in techniques such as: pole saw and chainsaw operation; small tree felling and branch pruning; timber step installation; traditional handrail installation; tree planting; and creating habitat piles from overgrown competing plants.

Another big thank you goes to everyone who took part in our woodland craft workshops.

The grant funding we received from Tesco enabled us to hold 3 free weekend workshops  in traditional greenwood craft skills. These were led by local rural craftsman, Jasper Prachek, and attended by over 30 local people.

Jasper guided workshop participants through the traditional practice of processing freshly felled oak timber using old-style hand-tools and techniques. During the workshops, they created durable parts for a traditional handrail to aid public access along sections of steep steps. The sessions proved very popular, appealing to people of all ages and abilities who wanted to add to their own skills repertoire, learn traditional techniques and spend quality time in the woods.

The results from the workshops were fantastic and the level of team camaraderie and enthusiasm displayed was very impressive.

How did other organisations support this work?

The work carried out for this project was prescribed in a 10 year woodland management plan overseen by Steel Valley Project in 2013 and approved by Forestry Commission and Bradfield Parish Council.

We would not have been able to achieve this work without the ongoing support and partnership of Bradfield Parish Council.

We also are so grateful to JG Graves Charitable Trust, Tesco Bags of Help scheme, Bridge Community Shop in Stocksbridge and Church Burgess Trust who financed different elements of the project throughout its delivery.

Interested in volunteering with the Steel Valley Project?

If you’re interested in getting involved with any of our conservation and countryside management work in the future, please check our Volunteering page or email info@steelvalleyproject.org for more information.

Facebook:  TheSteelValleyProject
Twitter: @steel_valley


Green Woodland Community Project

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