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Communities and their woodlands

The National Forest is encouraging people to take part in helping to look after woodlands, helping to develop a sense of shared ownership within the Forest and ensuring that woodlands are cared for.

Friends of Holly Hayes Wood

Friends of Holly Hayes Wood is one group working well to manage their local wood and make a fantastic contribution to The National Forest.

Friends of Holly Hayes Wood is a community group, comprising of local residents, who aim to set-up a social enterprise business to maintain and improve Holly Hayes Wood, Coalville Meadows and Forest Rock Wood. The group wants the local community to enjoy the meadowland & woodlands, be able to show their children the bluebells in the spring and walk their dogs safely in the woods for many years to come.

Over time, it is proposed that the wood will become a forest school and a traditional woodland both intertwining, with the forest school aiming to teach young and old about woodlands and, in the longer-term, provide jobs in the local area which support the objectives of a social enterprise business.

"It may sound a tall order, but it has been done before and we believe if we all work together we can do it here in Whitwick as well".

To find out more or support the group visit the Friends of Holly Hayes Wood website.

The Kingfisher Project

The Kingfisher Project is a resident led environmental project to regenerate an area of neglect into one of natural beauty creating a habitat for flora and fauna with the input of local residents and schools. Creation of community allotments are improving health and wellbeing.

The Kingfisher Management Group was formed in March 2006 and is made up of residents from the area, the Resident Involvement Officer from Trent & Dove Housing who facilitates the group, parish councillors, local authority park ranger and a representative from Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. The group sees the aims of the project as having three major priorities; efficient water flow, impact on the environment and strong community participation.

Levels of fly tipping, littering and low level anti social behaviour have noticeably diminished and a sense of community and pride amongst tenants is emerging in the rejuvenated area. An art trail has been developed which includes plaques and sculptures and links with other local issues. Schools contribute to designs that are displayed as art work in the community garden. The management group has commissioned the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust to work with local schools on wildlife surveys.

To find out more or support the group visit The Kingfisher Project website.

Coleorton Wood

The National Forest is encouraging people to take part in helping to look after woodlands, helping to develop a sense of shared ownership within the Forest and ensuring that woodlands are cared for. So a visit to Coleorton Wood by several different community groups in April 2015 did just that. John Macdonald (Chair of Coleorton & New Lount Volunteer Group) led a guided walk around the site showing what had been achieved over the last 5 years. This included hedge laying, tree felling, coppicing, building picnic benches, pond management and much more. It was an excellent morning with much opportunity for discussion and great examples of good practice. 18 people took part from eight National Forest volunteer groups and it is hoped that similar events will take place at other sites in the future.

John Macdonald, Chair of Coleorton & New Lount Volunteer Group said, I really enjoyed showing members of the other groups what we have achieved on our site. But equally it was really useful to hear what other groups are doing it was a good opportunity to get inspired.

Coleorton Wood

The Coleorton and New Lount volunteer Group (CNLVG) have been running since 2010 and is set up to do practical work on two local wildlife nature reserves plus a few social events too! They meet on Tuesdays and Saturdays 10am until 2pm and help to manage two local nature reserves, Coleorton Wood and New Lount Nature Reserve. They are always looking for new members if you have the time and want to get outdoors and make some new friends. At each action day all tools and equipment are provided by the volunteer group. No experience is necessary as the group will be happy to pass on their knowledge and skills.

Please contact John Macdonald on or call 01530 223456 for more details, see their website to find out more about the group.

Coleorton Wood is owned by Coleorton Parish Council and Coleorton & New Lount Volunteer group assist in the management of this planted woodland. New Lount Nature Reserve is owned by Leicestershire County Council and the Volunteer Group assists the Country Park Rangers to manage the reserve. Both Coleorton Wood and New Lount Reserve form part of The National Forest.

Find out more about Coleorton and New Lount Volunteers here: