A special thank you for Volunteers’ Week
I want to say thank you to everyone for your commitment to volunteering with the Woodland Trust over the last twelve months. With the different lockdown restrictions, it’s been impossible at times for volunteering to take place safely. Thank you for your patience with us as we adapted and responded to government advise and updated our volunteering guidance. We have also had a number of regional staff furloughed until recently, but now I’m really pleased that we have all the team back. And with woodland working groups starting to get back into the woods too, its beginning to feel a bit more like a normal summer!
Our woods in the South East have proved a valuable asset during lockdowns. We have had lots of people discovering local woods for the first time. Inevitably we have also experienced increased levels of antisocial behaviour and vandalism. Volunteer Wardens and Wildlife Monitors will have encountered this – thank you for being valuable extra ‘eyes and ears’ for the woods and reporting back to the site managers.
Do consider joining both our Lost Woods and Langley Vale Wood facebook groups if you are not already a follower. Our Lost Woods of the Weald and Downs project is a National Heritage Lottery Fund project in partnership with Sussex Wildlife Trust, Action for Rural Sussex and the Small Woods Association. Lost Woods of the Low Weald and Downs aims to bring back to life forgotten areas of woodland in Sussex. Working with landowners and local communities, we will bring back lost woodlands from the brink. One aim of the project is to record all the ancient and veteran trees in the project area, and we now have three new project volunteers; two ancient tree recorders and one verifier.
Langley Vale Wood in Surrey is looking stunning at the moment. If you haven’t managed to visit the site and see the new installations set within the natural landscape then hopefully you can join our South East volunteer networking day later this month, click here for further details.
The Woodland Trusts ‘State of UK’s Woods and Trees’ report was published last month and received considerable media attention. If you haven’t read it, please click here for the report. The report brings together evidence highlighting the health of the nation’s native woodlands and trees. for example only 7% of native woodland is in good ecological condition. Whilst the report provides shocking evidence of the compounding threats to trees and woods and to the wildlife associated with them, its also a powerful incentive to take action.
We need to keep protecting and caring for existing native woodlands and trees, as well as ensuring new woodlands are created. The Woodland Trust can’t tackle these challenges on our own, and I’m so glad you are you with us.
Thank you for your support to woods and trees!
Regional Director – South East England