Stanton has its own Community Woodland at "Sid's Piece"! Our official Opening Day was on Jan 20th 2008. For the first few years we planted tree seeds and saplings with the local schoolchildren. Now it is more established we will coppice an area each year with volunteers from the village. Please contact Mary Jane on 01359 259646 if you would like to get involved.
What is a Community Woodland?
The idea behind a Community Woodland is that the trees are planted and tended by volunteers from the community, and can be enjoyed by everyone. It will be an enduring community resource, much like the recreation ground or village hall.
Why do we need one here?
Although there are several areas of ancient woodland in Stanton, they are privately owned with limited access to the public. These are one of the richest wildlife habitats possible and we need to replenish ancient woods for future generations. A wooded area accessible to everyone improves our enjoyment of the outdoor world and appreciation of nature.
Establishing new woodland increases the number of living species in an area - important in these times of declining bio-diversity.
Planting woodland helps to counteract the effect of greenhouse gas emissions.
What activities will we be able to enjoy in our woodland?
Walks on nature trails
Picnics in designated areas
The woodland may eventually support a few crafts (wood-turning, willow basket-making etc).
Aims and Objectives:
Proposed management strategy for developing "Sid's Piece"
Carry out a survey of existing plant species, and take measures to protect any unusual species.
Leave all existing plants providing they are native & indigenous. Plant through existing grass coverage as opposed to wholesale removal.
Draw up a plan of how we want the site to be, showing individual species and features, with the following aims:
Create mixed habitats by having a broad range of plant species, including woodland trees, shrubs/trees which can be coppiced (approx. 75% of the area), grasses, wild flowers and herb species, and consider whether the area would lend itself to having a‘natural' pond. Only indigenous species will be introduced and these are to be sourced as locally as possible.
Create facilities to maximise wildlife variety and populations e.g. bird boxes, log piles, bat boxes, and possibly a boundary ditch.
Slowly evolve the area from its starting condition to the final blueprint, over a period of about ten years. This will enable our local schools and community volunteers to have areas to plant up each year for ten years as opposed to ‘doing everything in one year'. This will also enable the local wildlife populations to evolve as the area develops from mainly grass to mixed.
Consider an area set aside for people to congregate, e.g. outdoor classroom. Also set out paths for people to walk around and see the complete site.
Once a certain level of maturity is reached by some of the plants, these could be ‘harvested' e.g. herbs, hazel sticks, willow withies, plants for natural dyes etc. which give new activities for schoolchildren and local people to get involved in.
The site will be open to the public at all times.
Funding for the Community Woodland:
We would like to acknowledge receipt of the grants which enabled us to purchase the land. These came from AWARDS FOR ALL Lottery Funding, St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Joanna Spicer at Suffolk County Council; and also a donation towards tools came from Tripp Batt Country Store. Many thanks to all of these and everyone else who helped to make this project a success.