10am: working together to protect woods from development
Quite a few of my sites are currently facing increased pressure from new local housing developments. Houses built directly adjacent to a wood can lead to more recreational pressure with associated issues such as littering, fly-tipping of garden waste, vandalism and fires.
Building houses and gardens directly next to our woods can also mean complaints from neighbours. Prompts for trees to be removed or cut back are common, and all of this can result in illegal felling of trees. This results in increased costs to the Trust as we have to carry out more tree safety work and thinning work along the woodland edge.
Over time new developments can lead to substantial damage to our woodland.
I spend some time on the phone discussing these challenges with our head office team. Together, we can work with local planning authorities to set a ‘buffer zone’ around our woods. This will help to protect the woodland from any new developments while also providing improved air quality and a green space for the new residents to enjoy.
12.45pm: forest school catch up
A forest school in the local area uses our woods to encourage local children to play and learn outdoors. I try to meet with them once or twice a year and keep in touch regularly to make sure that everything is going well. It's also important to check their visits are not having a detrimental impact on the wood.
One forest school has generated over 10,000 visits to our woods by local children and adults! This is a great way for us to help new people to learn about and enjoy trees and woods. It also shows the value of these woods to the community.