Four Lane Ends Wood in the snow
Dec 20 2021

Season’s Greetings from the South East

Robin at Woods Mill, West Sussex – Copyright: Janet Levett

 

As the end of 2021 approaches and another challenging winter for us all, it’s a natural time to reflect on the past year, but also look ahead to brighter times. Whilst 2021 has been a challenge in many ways, it has also helped to remind many how important nature and woods are to our health and wellbeing.

 

It was a joy to have work parties and a limited programme of face-to-face events returning to our woods this summer, and lovely to welcome friends old and new at our networking day at Langley Vale Wood.  There are ten woodland working groups helping to deliver site management tasks across the region in our woods and winter welcomes the return of coppicing and scrub clearance duties.  We are currently advertising for new members to join our groups, so please get in touch if you have some spare time and would like to get more involved – it’s rewarding work and a great way to get more active and out enjoying our woods.

 

Our woods have been very popular again with visitors and volunteer wardens continue to play a key role in helping to keep additional eyes on the estate.   We’ve introduced regular online sessions to help connect this potentially isolated role to the wider volunteer network and provide a platform for volunteers to share experiences of their role.  The Love Your Woods campaign was launched and we’re looking forward to introducing a new volunteer engagement role in our woods next year, please contact Anna or Lucy if you’d like to find out more.  Whilst on recruitment, the Observatree volunteer network is looking for more volunteers who are based in the South East.  To find out more about the role, you can visit our website here  Tree Health Surveyor – Woodland Trust.  This year on the estate our Observatree surveyors were busy recording oak processionary moth nests, their help has been such an important effort in helping us to manage the risk of the caterpillars to visitors.

 

The ancient and veteran tree (AVT) recording volunteers of our Lost Woods of the Low Weald and Downs project have been busy designing a methodology for recording trees in the project area and are now ready to start field tests of the process that has been designed. This work underpins the Woodland Trust’s ambition to get many more ancient and veteran trees across the whole of the Weald and Downs landscape onto the Ancient Tree Inventory and to assess their condition.

 

The bigger picture is that staff and volunteers do what we do for nature to thrive, particularly in trees and woods.  We made national headlines this year with the discovery of the Heath Fritillary Butterfly being recorded at Victory Wood in Kent.   Our annual Bee Bioblitz also at Victory Wood was supported by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation and Kate Bradbury, Gardeners World journalist this year.  Through the efforts of volunteers recording species and longer-term monitoring at our sites, we know our work is making a positive impact on nature recovery.   

 

Next year we celebrate our 50th Anniversary and plans are underway for our volunteer celebration event at the Knepp Estate in Sussex on Wednesday 1 June. We have had new volunteers and staff members recently join the regional team, and these events offer great opportunity to not only learn but also network with each other. Put the date in your diaries!

 

As we look forward to next year, I would like to say a massive thank you for the time, skill and effort you give in helping to protect, restore and create native woodlands – we wouldn’t be where we are today without your help!

 

Wishing you a peaceful festive break and look forward to working together for woods and trees in 2022!

 

Warm Regards,

 

  Jenny

Jenny Scholfield

Regional Director – South East

 

Thank you to volunteer Alan Wallace for his beautiful photograph, which we have chosen as our featured image. 

2 Comments
  • Alan Wallace

    Hello Jenny. It was nice to see my photograph of Four Lane Ends Wood being used in your Seasons Greetings message. Regards, Alan.

    December 21, 2021 at 3:47 pm
    • Anna Claxton

      Dear Alan, sorry that you weren’t credited as the photographer. Article is now amended to include your name. It is a wonderful photo and thank you so much for your kind comment.
      Anna and Lucy

      January 3, 2022 at 10:39 pm

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