South West update from Ross kennerley
The past few months have been busy as we start to plan for our work in 2020. This involves taking stock of what we have achieved so far this year and what opportunities are on the horizon. The renewed public interest in climate change and species extinction has meant a sudden increase in interest around planting trees, creating woods and protecting what we have. This is an important time for us all and we want to embrace and sustain this wave of support.
We see volunteering at the heart of our future work, and are looking at what roles currently support our work and what new volunteering opportunities there are. As part of this process we hope to increase the opportunities for people to volunteer to help us care for our existing woods and trees and support planting and woodland creation.
Alongside this we are continuing to explore how we can work better with you ensuring good quality communications so you are fully aware of what is happening and are able to engage with us. More of you are now on Whittle so please do go on there for updates about what is happening in the region. You can use this to tell others about your work – just let Amanda know and she will add this to Whittle for you.
We are particularly looking at what volunteering opportunities will be needed at our new site at Ausewell Wood, close to Ashburton in Dartmoor. You may well have heard that we have an appeal running at the moment to raise funds to enable us to secure the purchase of this wood. Ausewell Wood is situated in a steep valley with the River Dart running through it. It has been influenced by man since medieval times and as recently as the last century when the native woodland was felled to make way for conifer plantations. Despite this Ausewell Wood is a hidden refuge for wildlife and we want to ensure that this continues and is enhanced. We plan to work in partnership with the National Trust, building on the success of the restoration work taking place at Fingle Woods. It significantly extends our woodlands across the wooded valleys of East and south Dartmoor. We hope that our work across these woods will be a the catalyst for landscape scale working, enabling us to bring a bigger, better and more joined up landscape to the Devon area, in partnership with many other organisations and government bodies. This is an exciting opportunity and one we want to work with volunteers to achieve our aims.
As ever my door is open if you have any comments and thoughts about volunteering for the Woodland Trust. Either speak to me or Amanda your VDO and we will listen to anything you have to say.
Many thanks for your continued support
Ross Kennerley South West Regional Director