It gives me great pleasure to have this opportunity to tell you all about Angus Wood, the Blandford Environmental Trust and our plans for the Blandford and Stour Meadows.
You all know where Blandford is .............
Angus Wood is a 0.5ha, rectangular plot of young woodland, formally a paddock, It was planted in 1985 by the Woodland Trust and gifted to the Trust in 1990 by the Angus family. The lease specifies that it is to be managed as a native mixed broadleaf maturing woodland for the use and enjoyment of the public, and for amenity and educational purposes. BET was set-up to take on the 25 year lease from the Woodland Trust.
The wood opened under new management on 1 st July 2010. The picture shows our Mayor Esme Butler reciting a poem in praise of trees, with Sir Ghillean Prance who opened the wood behind her, the head teacher of the Blandford School, the current and a number of past presidents of our club. Not forgetting the children.
Sir Ghillean and our first new tree.
This is the team that put BET together . On the left Peter Andrews, Curator of the Blandford Museum and his dynamic wife and Town Councillor Sylvia. My fellow Rotarian Steve Adamson is holding up the sign with Sir Ghillean and the man almost obscured is Bruce Hansen, former head of science and sustainability in the Blandford Schools pyramid. The School, Museum and Blandford Rotary provided a director each. We were the fortunate winners of the Community Service award at the Eastbourne conference, largely I believe because of the co-operation between the 3 groups and the community to keep the wood in good order and improve the environment. It’s a much valued community woodland.
Blandford Rotary generously funds our public liability insurance and provided half of the money for the all weather disability path shown here which was installed in March. The other half came from District Foundation.
A talented gentleman Rotarian made half a dozen bird boxes and an owl box. This is the single parent starter home model.
Joy Wallis (DWT) – bugs, skeletons and a children's’ detective game.
The Ancient Technology Centre at ?? Gave us tremendous support. This lathe is powered by a foot pedal and a piece of string tied to a branch above.
Hundred of children came into the wood and we charged adults a £ each.
Hide building in the middle of the wood.
To bring you smack up to date. A group photograph at our work day a week ago. BET members with Rotarian helpers and two lads from Youth Aid in Blandford Town.
An idea of costs and lessons learned. PLI is an annual fee. Companies House doesn’t recognise volunteer status. Expect to be treated like a profit making organisation.
The Meadows are a flood plain. The area takes in the pastures either side of the blue bridge close to the Marsh and Ham car park behind Morrisons, along the south bank of the river to the black bridge (behind the Co-op) and onto the ring road, and south to the boundary with Hall and Woodhouse and the equally famous Blanchards Bailey LLP, who did the legal work to set up the company and keep us going. The general idea is to keep the Eastern half as a natural wild life habitat and enhance the Western half with an all weather path beside the river and recreation facilities.
A new arrival in the area started something called the Blandford Meadows Action Group to do something about the lack of recreational amenities on the meadows for his children. Most of the people that came to the first meeting wanted things to stay as they are. Bruce Hopkins agreed to become a BET director to help achieve his goals. Joy Wallis, the Dorset Wildlife Trust Community Officer likes our group and came on board to support our projects. Giles Nicholson of the Countryside Rangers who is responsible to NDCC for maintaining the habitat has also joined the group and is dead keen to support what we hope to achieve. The Rangers and the Dorset Wildlife Trust are both involved in training young people and those involved in recovery programmes. We hope to help more young people to take advantage of this expertise and get involved in environmental and recreational projects. If we are successful, these projects will provide recreational and environmental benefits for the wider community for many years to come. What we have planned should keep us out of trouble for a while.
So working from West to East, here’s an ideal spot for a playground .......
.. And a picnic area.
The open grassland between the 2 bridges is ideal as a outdoor recreational area. We want to put in a Nordic style exercise circuit and adventure park facilities.
All members of the public will benefit from an all weather path between the 2 bridges.
The area in the middle, shown here in flood, has 2 magnificent oak trees. We want to plant more trees and plan to have a tree planting event on Rotary day next year.
The western end is a very pleasant area to walk in despite the noise of the ring road. The scientists and biologist among us have plans to enhance the environment and will ensure that this remains a conservation area. Any questions?
Angus Wood and Blandford Meadows' Project
BLANDFOD ENVIRONMENTAL TRUST (BET) PRESENTATION TO GREEN CONNECT 2 SATURDAY 6TH OCTOBER 2012ANGUS WOOD AND BLANDFORD MEADOWS’ PROJECTS Dr. Sylvia Hixson-Andrews & Mr. Nic Nicol
ANGUS WOOD WORK DAY – SATURDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER 2012
BET START UP COSTS•WOODLAND TRUST LEASE £353•SETTING UP THE COMPANY £176•LAND REGISTRY SEARCHES £55•PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE £300 +•TOOLS £?•PROJECTS £?LESSONS LEARNED•ALL DIRECTORS ARE EQUAL•OBEY COMPANIES’ HOUSE RULES
BLANDFOD MEADOWS’ PROJECTS• BLANDFORD MEADOWS ACTION GROUPINITIATIVE.•STRONG SUPPORT FROM THE DORSETWILDLIFE TRUST•WORK DIRECTLY WITH THE COUNTRYSIDERANGERS•INVOLVE YOUTH AND COMMUNITY GROUPS INENVIRONMENTAL AND RECREATIONALPROJECTS