Monthly Archives: April 2014

An introduction to Forest School

Level 1 Forest School traineesForest School is well-established as a great way to engage groups in woodland activities and support personal development. The Forest of Avon Trust is committed to this inspirational approach and we run accredited training to support outdoor enthusiasts to lead their groups.

During March we ran level 1 Forest School training courses at Lawrence Weston Community Farm and the trust’s Retreat woodland, near Bitton. These two day courses are a great opportunity for people to find out what Forest School is and to take away lots of practical activities and ideas to use with their groups.

Those on the course were enthusiastic and couldn’t wait to get going leading their own groups. One participant commented: “Really amazing. Now I feel I can really do this”, another said: “This has re-lit my passion for learning outdoors”.

A combination of teaching staff, youth workers, parents and those wanting to develop outdoor businesses attended the training. Some of those doing the level 1 course will now go on to do the more demanding level 3 course so that they can become Forest School leaders.

Find out about the courses we run or book onto training at: http://forestofavontrust.org/training/

Posted in: Forest School, Latest News, Training activities | Tagged , , |

Woodland Works

Collecting tree guards

Two groups of adults with learning difficulties have been visiting The Retreat over the last year to learn new skills and help us manage the woodland.

Last week people from Choices4U helped clear dozens of tree guards and create a small area of hazel coppice. Participants from The Milestone Trust’s Stepping Forward group have also been hard at work in the woods, creating a dead hedge and pond dipping amongst other things.

The Woodland Works project was funded by South Gloucestershire Learning Difficulties Development Board and The Baily Thomas Charitable Trust and has been running since last summer. Participants have learned about fire lighting, shelter building, safe use of tools and wildlife identification (in all kinds of weather!)

A support worker from Milestone Trust said: “The retreat experience gave the service users valuable outdoor experiences. Learning about safety outdoors and using tools and fire. They learned to work together as a team and did independent projects. Outdoor confidence grew as they learned to make things from nature… All ask to go back to experience more.”

Using hand made bows and arrows

It hasn’t all been hard work though! The groups have also had fun making bows and arrows, building shelters, making music and creating woodland art. The Retreat also provides a therapeutic environment to spend time sitting quietly, listening and watching, a chance to feel connected to nature.

If you are interested in finding out more about Woodland Works, please contact: jonattwood@forestofavontrust.org

Posted in: Forest School, Latest News, Woodland Wellbeing | Tagged , |

Trees & Golf Go Together

The Trust has been very pleased to accept a kind donation of a V.W Golf Car and trailer to support our activities. The donor: Dr. Malcolm Rigler, a G.P in North Somerset, has made this donation in memory of his kind benefactor: Rev. Frank Linthwaite.

Dr. Rigler has discovered a little about Rev. Linthwaite, but is keen to meet someone connected to the Forest of Avon Trust who has a interest in researching genealogy, so that he can find out more about the education and interests of Rev. Linthwaite. If you can help, please email: jonclark@forestofavontrust.org and he will pass on your details.

Posted in: Community Partners, Latest News | Tagged |

North Somerset’s Trees Remove £1.7 Million of Pollutants/ Year

Through 2013 the Trust worked with a group of committed volunteer Tree Wardens in North Somerset to survey nearly 200 sites across the District to collect information on any trees present. This information, along with climatic data for the survey period, has now been processed using the US Forestry Service’s iTree model.

The results graphically set out the invaluable pollution management services that North Somerset’s trees provide. They also demonstrate the huge contribution that volunteers can make and this project is the first to use volunteers to collect information in the UK.

In North Somerset, tree cover removes harmful pollutants (CO, NO2, O3, PM10, PM2.5, SO2), with an annual average value of £1,703,648.30.  This is another compelling reason why we need to look after our existing trees and plant more of them.

The iTree model can be applied at a variety of scales ranging from a local authority to a Parish or Ward, or a local park/ green space. The Trust can provide a free introductory meeting, or a detailed briefing for £125. Details of these and other services are here: iTree Flyer Text_1.

Posted in: Future Woods, Latest News, Our Projects, Safeguarding our Trees | Tagged , |

Vacancies for Advisors

Forest of Avon Trust Advisors

The Forest of Avon Trust is also recruiting voluntary Advisors, who would be available to provide staff and Trust Directors with specialist advice on an occasional basis, including as required, at Board meetings.

We would be very interested to hear from anyone who feels that they can help and in particular, from people from the following backgrounds:

Primary Education

Secondary Education

Social care

Mental health

Please send a CV and also a covering letter setting out your interest in a particular role and the skills that you can bring to it. Please email this to Jon Clark Executive Director, by 1200 on Friday the 30th May: jonclark@forestofavontrust.org For more information on the Forest of Avon Trust, please visit: www.forestofavontrust.org

 

Posted in: Latest News | Tagged |

Vacancies for Charity Directors (Trustees)

We are currently recruiting the following voluntary Forest of Avon Trust Directors:

Business Sponsorship & Support Director

Approaching small and medium sized businesses to secure sponsorship and raising awareness of the training and corporate experiences that the Forest of Avon Trust can offer.

Volunteering Director

Recruiting and co-ordinating volunteers to undertake work including: woodland maintenance; attending/ running events; giving talks and leading guided walks.

These positions are unpaid voluntary roles, working mainly from home, with quarterly board meetings at Ashton Court in Bristol and also involving regular liaison with the Forest of Avon Trust Executive Director.

Appointments are initially for 1 year. Each would provide invaluable experience of charity governance, project management and the fulfilment that would come from helping this charity grow further.

Further details here: Forest of Avon Trust Director (Trustee) Brief

Interested?

If so, we would love to hear from you.

Please send a CV and also a covering letter setting out your interest in a particular role and the skills that you can bring to it. Please email this to Jon Clark, Executive Director at jonclark@forestofavontrust.org 

Posted in: Volunteering | Tagged , , |