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Woman's sheds - changing lives

Woman’s sheds – changing lives

by Angus ~ 7 February, 2019 ~ 2 comments

"Jenny was a very timid woman with very low self-esteem and confidence when she came to our Woman's Shed," explained Karen Little, the organiser of March Wood's "Woman's Shed" Project.  Karen got Jenny started on some whittling which she engaged with total concentration during some of the sessions.  She seemed to shut out everything, she became mindful of the task and was able to shift her focus to the here and now.  Jenny was transfixed by it but it also transformed her and she has since bought her own whittling knife and is pursuing a hobby that she's really good at and it's given her more confidence in every area of her life.  As Karen says, "she takes time for herself, has learnt a new skill and is making new friends." Read more...

Woodland Vandalism and ... the kindness of strangers at March Wood

Woodland Vandalism and … the kindness of strangers at March Wood

by Karen ~ 8 October, 2018 ~ 2 comments

Last November vandalism and fire devastated the March Wood Project which is a therapeutic and educational project based in Kent, and the story of how the project was brought back to life is extraordinarily encouraging.

The project, set in woodlands near Ashford works with young people and adults affected by mental health and social issues, and it's a not-for-profit organisation. The attack last year meant that we lost equipment and use of an outdoor barn classroom. Read more...

A band of ten wild women in the wood

A band of ten wild women in the wood

by Melissa and Angus ~ 8 June, 2018 ~ one comment

Despite suffering insect bites, scratched legs, and a general lack of washing, this was an expedition which brought together ten women who shared their concerns - Jo had recently lost a baby, Charlene's mother had died of lung cancer, one was anxious about getting pregnant, another was a full-time carer and one woman had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.  Despite personal issues, or perhaps because of them, the whole experience of this survival challenge and sleeping under the stars left the group "mentally and emotionally on a real high". Read more...

Volunteering for health and wellbeing at Tortworth arboretum

Volunteering for health and wellbeing at Tortworth arboretum

by blogs at woodlands ~ 8 December, 2017 ~ comments welcome

The arboretum at Tortworth is a very special place. It has a long and interesting history and boasts some incredible exotic trees. The trees are a living history of the woodland and the family that planted it, but a few years ago the collection was at risk of decline through lack of management. That is, until 3 years ago when woodlands.co.uk purchased the woodland and the trees were given a new lease of life -  while also changing lives.   The 20 acre site is now managed by a community woodland group who are gently restoring the trees and at the same time, making a difference to people, as we hear from one of their regular volunteers.


Hurstbourne 5 Mile Multi-Terrain Race (by Greg England)

Hurstbourne 5 Mile Multi-Terrain Race (by Greg England)

by blogs at woodlands ~ 13 November, 2017 ~ comments welcome

Runners will be taking part in the challenging Hurstbourne Tarrant 5 Mile Multi-Terrain Race, on Saturday 28th April 2018.

This will be the 10th year that this event has taken place, starting at the George V playing fields and following part of the Test Way, through woods and farmland, taking in the beautiful scenery of the North Wessex Downs. The race coincides with the perfect time to view the spectacular bluebells in Doles Wood. Read more...

The national forest revisited

The national forest revisited

by Chris ~ 6 March, 2017 ~ comments welcome

The National Forest scheme has celebrated its 25th anniversary.  It was and is a bold project, focusing on some 500 square kilometers of central England (parts of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire).  Whilst the area included farmland and some pockets of ancient woodland, e.g. Charnwood Forest to the east and Needwood Forest to the west, it also included many abandoned industrial workings such as opencast mines, quarries, clay pits and spoil heaps.

Some 8.5 million trees have been planted to date and now the area generates income through tourism Read more...

Sheffield - the battleground for those who care about street trees and woodlands

Sheffield – the battleground for those who care about street trees and woodlands

by Angus ~ 15 February, 2017 ~ 6 comments

Whilst Sheffield is renowned for its woodlands near to the city centre and its 36,000 street trees, it has now become the scene of conflict over their future.  A dozen people have now been arrested and the authorities have acted in ways that seem fairly heavy-handed.  Two older ladies each about 70 years old (Jenny Hockey and Freda Brayshaw) were arrested when they protested against the tree-massacre. They weren't actually charged, but others have been.

The battle over Sheffield's trees all started when the City Council signed an agreement with Amey to manage some of their infrastructure, although the terms in the 7,000 page agreement are secret.   As it contains commercially sensitive information Sheffield Council are not revealing the full contents of the 2012 PFI deal (Private Finance Initiative) and even some of those defending it haven't read the whole document. Read more...

March Wood in Kent - healing and learning outdoors

March Wood in Kent – healing and learning outdoors

by Karen ~ 5 February, 2017 ~ 4 comments

The March Wood project in Kent is using nature to help young people and families with "additional needs" and adults with mental health issues.   We run educational and therapeutic programmes and teach a range of practical skills. For example we help people to use hand tools, identify trees and plants. We also do firelighting and show how to managing risk around fires and edge-tools. we also help young people and adults deal with social and emotional issues through group discussions and one-to-one therapy sessions.

Our project has been running for almost two years and we've worked with over 100 young people and their families; young people with physical disabilities that include blindness, young people with autism and ADHD. Read more...

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