Plans Underway at Mead Young Peoples Forest
Hello, my name is Emily Moore and I have recently joined the Woodland Trust as Youth Development Manager for our new project at Mead. Working with young people is my entire working background, and creating opportunities for young people is a real passion of mine which is why this role was so appealing to me.
The new 162 ha Mead site, close to Smalley in Derbyshire, sits in a fantastic position; adjacent to Shipley Country Park which itself is adjacent to the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Woodside Farm. Together these three properties would make more than 500 hectares (nearly 1,300 acres) of connected, wildlife friendly space for people to enjoy. In partnership with the local community we are planning to transform this former open-cast mine into new native woodland.
Veolia Environmental Trust have awarded the Trust £300,000 towards the first phase acquisition and hopefully very soon we we will own the first quarter of the site at Mead.
It is planned that children and young people will be at the very heart of this woodland creation project. They will be involved right from the start of the project in the creation and development of the site and the activities that take place on it.
The Woodland Trust has teamed up with #iwill, a campaign to promote social action between 10 to 20 year olds and £1.5 million has been donated by the Pears #iwill Fund, a collaboration of the Pears Foundation, the Big Lottery Fund and the Department for Culture Media & Sport.
We will be working with a variety of people to develop plans for volunteering and engagement at the site. Working with previous contacts, the first work with young people is underway with Art and Design students from Derby College working on designs for a large-scale visual for the launch event in May, and we are currently working with Catering and Hospitality students to see if we can have them cater the same event.
Beyond the launch, meetings are already lined up with course tutors from Broomfield Hall where Arboriculture, Countryside Management and Horticulture are taught to a variety of levels, so I look forward to seeing how we can create opportunities to work with their students.
My background is with the National Citizen Service, and we are looking at workshops to be delivered on the programme in Derby to more than six hundred 16 and 17 year olds throughout the summer. We are also working on developing an initial workshop for delivery to a variety of school and youth groups, gathering ideas for their interpretation of the site, though this is currently in its early stages.
Although young people are my focus, we are keen to develop a wide variety of volunteering opportunities at the site. We will keep you informed as plans develop for volunteering activity at the site, and would be delighted to hear from you if you would like to be involved.
Emily Moore- Youth Development Manager, Mead