Monthly Archives: January 2018

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Royal Forestry Society Excellence Awards

The Royal Forestry Society Excellence Awards 2018 are looking for  the very best in projects run by schools, colleges, universities, and other recognised education and training providers across the West and South West of England – from Cheshire to Cornwall.

Rachel Thomas the RFS Excellence in Forestry (EiF) Co-ordinator says:

“The RFS Excellence in Forestry Award is a great opportunity to showcase to the forestry sector, and to a wider world, and the many excellent  education and learning projects  are vital for ensuring a thriving future for forest management.” 

The awards will be presented at the National Arboretum at Westonbirt on 13 July 2018.  The closing date for entries is noon on Tuesday 6 March 2018.

More details are available here, and you can find case studies based on previous winners here.

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Young People out in the Woods

Over the last year, we have worked with 10 secondary schools across Avon and taken 150 young people with a range of physical, learning and/or behavioural needs to visit a local woodland to learn about the woodland environment and acquire new skills. We would like to thank the Ernest Cook Trust which made this work possible.

We have offered a range of activities tailored to the particular needs of the young people involved. At an activity in Leigh Woods, young people made woodland percussion instruments, autumn crowns and woodland flags. We hired a Mobiloo (a mobile toilet with hoist and changing table), widening the range of people who attended. Activities for other schools were more practically focused, including woodland conservation work.

The project, which is part of our wider Woodland Wellbeing programme was a great success, with quotes from teachers including: 

 ‘Being in the woods for a morning had a hugely positive impact on the whole group: pupils and staff. The sounds, sights, textures, creative activities, feeding the robin, created that sense of awe and wonder which is not measurable, but so important for wellbeing. It energised and relaxed pupils and staff reported the benefit of this. We’d definitely like to be able to do it more often.’

‘I just wanted to let you know how much the groups that came to the woodland experiences with you, enjoyed themselves. The first group came back so excited really enthused and wanting to do it again on a regular basis. The activities you organised were absolutely brilliant and everyone said how wonderful you and everything was.’

The Ernest Cook funding has now ended, but we will apply for other grants to apply this best practice more widely in the area.

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China to fell 3 million trees

The Times reports that China plans to cut down more than three million trees in order to rid key ecological sites of non-native species.  For example, black poplars, introduced from Europe for the paper industry, will be felled around Dongting Lake in Hunan province which is a flood basin for the Yangtze River.  The lake was once a habitat for migratory birds, but the region became an important economic hub in the 1980s.  Over time reed beds and trees were cleared, wetlands were drained and in some places the lake was walled in.




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