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Last Chance to Join Whistlewood - Forest, Food, Fun and Friends

Friday, 20th September 2013

The National Forest Company is supporting a unique community woodland project near Melbourne, Derbyshire, which gives individuals the chance buy shares in a community woodland.

The deadline for people wishing to be part of Whistlewood Common Limited is fast approaching with all but a few shares already sold.

Directors of the community group have been overwhelmed by the response to the share issue. Within two weeks of the launch they had raised sufficient funds to put in an offer on 10 acres of land on Melbourne Common, which has now been accepted subject to contract.

The project will provide a community-owned growing space where the best agro-forestry practice will flourish in partnership with perennial food production. It will also offer educational opportunities and an events facility for celebrations.

When the land came on the market in the spring, members of Melbourne Area Transition (MAT), inspired by the experience of other community groups, determined to fulfil their ambition to create a different kind of woodland. Within weeks, guided by advice from the Co-Operative Hub, they had formed Whistlewood Common Limited, a not-for-profit Industrial and Provident Society.

A grant offered from the National Forest Company brought the project a step closer to fulfilment, but the group still needed to raise £50,000 towards the purchase.

More than 90 people have so far responded to the share offer. “We were extremely gratified that so many people immediately understood what Whistlewood is all about” said the group’s Chair Helen Bralesford. “There is real enthusiasm from people from all walks of life to become actively involved as shareholders” she added.

Investors can still join Whistlewood from as little as £50 which secures them a vote to determine how the cooperative venture will proceed, but they will need to hurry. The share offer closes on 30 September.

For more details including a prospectus, business plan and application form see the website at  or contact Helen Bralesford on 0772 4076950 or SarahSpencer on 07930 470565.