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Forest Holidays team work out in the National Forest

Thursday, 23rd November 2017

Forest Holidays Team

Team members from Forest Holidays, one of the National Forest Company’s partner organisations, spent the day out in the National Forest recently, helping with woodland management tasks and finding out about how communities are helping to manage their local woodlands.

In total, 26 members of staff worked removing old and redundant fencing between planting compartments at Sarah’s Wood in Moira, to open up the woodland and help the transition from young plantation to maturing woodland.

Rabbit guards or fencing around a compartment of trees are necessary when the young whips (tiny trees) are first planted to protect them from being eaten. As time goes on, the trees reach a size when they are less vulnerable to rabbit damage, and the protection can be removed, making the growing woodland a more open and attractive place for both people and wildlife.

Before getting out into the woods, Forest Holidays team members heard about the work of the Heartwood Community Woodfuel Group, created by the Black to Green project in collaboration with Leicestershire County Council. The Heartwood group volunteers help to manage woodlands and promote the value of forestry as a sustainable source of energy, for the educational opportunities and health benefits it brings, and much more.

Forest Holidays’ headquarters are based in Moira, at the heart of the National Forest.  Part owned by the Forestry Commission and set exclusively within Forestry Commission land, Forest Holidays offers a natural holiday experience to guests who value time to unplug and relax in beautiful surroundings.Their work supports the growth and development of the National Forest through donations made by their customers when booking short breaks and holidays in the company’s luxury cabins at nine locations throughout the UK.

Bruce McKendrick, CEO of Forest Holidays said, “Our whole team is incredibly enthusiastic in their support for the National Forest and the opportunity to learn from other community volunteers who share our aims is inspiring.  As well as the generous donations from our guests, which our partnership enables, we are delighted to make a practical difference in expanding the woodlands on our doorstep. There is real synergy between our organisations and we share the National Forest’s vision and desire to enhance and expand Britain’s forests and to connect people with the natural world around them. By supporting the National Forest over the past 18 months our team and guests are helping to transform landscapes for the benefit of the environment and local communities and that is something to be proud of.”

Ben Devine, Community Outreach Officer for the Black to Green project in the National Forest, commented, “We had a great day in Sarah’s Wood with the team from Forest Holidays and our colleagues from Leicestershire County Council Rangers and the Heartwood Community Woodfuel Group. It was a great demonstration of partnership working to look after and maximise the benefits of the National Forest for everyone who lives and visits here.”

The Heartwood group continues to be supported by the Black to Green project which aims to connect people with the rapid landscape change in the heart of the National Forest over the last 25 years. The project is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund which is contributing £770,600 over three years.

For more information on Forest Holidays see www.forestholidays.co.uk

Find out more about Heartwood Community Woodfuel Group and get involved by visiting their website http://www.heartwoodhof.org.uk/

Find out more about Black to Green at www.blacktogreen.org.uk