As Christmas approaches and we near the end of another year, it’s appropriate to express our sincere thanks to all who have helped us during the year. With several events still to take place before we welcome in 2017, we have undertaken over 80 task days during the year involving 3000 volunteer hours and as a result of your valuable assistance we are well on target to complete all the targets we set ourselves in our original three year woodland management plan, which is now in its final year. Work will shortly be starting on its next iteration.
Our conservation work continues to receive recognition and we have now been shortlisted for the 2016 UK National Parks’ Volunteer Awards in the “Projects” category. Only two projects have been shortlisted and we expect the winner to be announced very shortly so fingers crossed.
It’s also pleasing to report that volunteer numbers have started to pick up on our events and some have actually been full! With your help we remain on course to achieve all the tasks we set ourselves for this conservation season so please keep booking on – your woodland needs you. In addition to our own volunteers we have also welcomed the Forestry Commission’s Two Trees volunteers in recent weeks together with two youth groups from the Prince’s Trust who worked alongside our own volunteers.
Many have been asking recently if our charcoal retort has been collected by the manufacturers for repair and we have just received notification that they will be picking it up on Friday 16 December.
We have now added some more dates to the Events Diary which take us through Christmas and into the New year. There are plenty of bonfires up until Christmas and in the New Year our priority will be tidying up the charcoal timber and associated brash in Crab Tree Close (see map) after the chainsaw team have finished coppicing the area. We now have a chain saw team of five, most of whom leave the area quite tidy!
As this area is very close to an active badger sett and we need to be out of there as soon as possible and this will be our priority during the first half of January. Badger cubs are born in February and too much disturbance may cause the adults to abandon the sett. In this respect, several of you have been asking about badgers recently so we have included a new website page about them together with some footage captured in Pondhead on a trail cam.
We still continue to welcome new volunteers and will be represented at the annual New Forest Volunteer Fair which is taking place at Lyndhurst Community Centre on Sunday 29 January 2017 from 10.30am until 4pm. There will be over 40 organisations represented at the event which is organised by the National Park Authority. Pop in and say hello and tell your friends.
All that remains is to thank you once again for all your support during the year and wish you and your families a peaceful Christmas and a healthy New Year.