>> Neil Oxley, site manager, Cheshire and Merseyside: 
This is Spud Wood which is just under 30 hectares. It was planted in 1998/99 and it's matured into a really nice mixed broadleaved woodland.  

The volunteers here at Spud Wood do all sorts of tasks. They do coppicing, so we have a lot of hazel that was planted. So, they've been going around coppicing that every autumn and winter. They've also helped with clearing litter and they also just run events and activity days here as well. 

Jo's been the chair of the group since it was formed, and she's always been really keen and enthusiastic to help get involved in managing the woodland and get other people involved as well and, you know, she organises all the task days, comes along to events and talks about Spud Wood, and she's just really helpful, you know.  

>> Joanna Yellen, volunteer woodland working group leader: 
I've been volunteering here at Spud Wood since 2011. Started off just getting involved with doing some coppicing and then it's grown from there. We kind of, we wanted a few other things to happen, so I've got more involved.  

The group is quite variable in size. We run two main activities during the winter. We run a wood allotments group which has about 40 people involved and then we do more general volunteering activities which involves a lot of coppicing, but, yeah, we get quite a range of people from teenagers up to quite a few in their seventies. 

I think the best thing about volunteering with the Woodland Trust is just how they let me get involved and take control of things and we’ll work really well with the site manager, Neil, talking about what we want to do and just agreeing it. We can, you know, make things happen quite quickly, and it’s just really nice to feel some ownership or you can help make a change in the wood locally.  

The volunteering I’ve been doing, it’s an important part of my life and it has changed my outlook on things because it’s given me something to do that’s practical and also gives me a reason to meet lots of people I wouldn’t normally meet and it makes me a bit more outgoing I think. 

>> Neil: 
I'd just like to say a big thank you to Jo. Without her help and support, Spud Wood wouldn't be the site that it is now. 




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