Forest 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/
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.”
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: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org and he will pass on your details.
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.
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:
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 25th April: email@example.com For more information on the Forest of Avon Trust, please visit: www.forestofavontrust.org
We are currently recruiting the following Forest of Avon Trust Directors:
Recruiting and co-ordinating volunteers to undertake work including: woodland maintenance; attending/ running events; giving talks and leading guided walks.
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.
Outdoor Access Director
Championing the wide range of public access in the Forest of Avon; producing a web- accessible database of routes and working with the Volunteer Recruitment Director to put together and deliver a programme of 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.
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, by 1200 on Friday the 25th April: firstname.lastname@example.org
Trees planted at Southfield and Haydon earlier in 2013 are looking strong and healthy and have put on good rates of growth. More planting is planned in and around Radstock and Jen Green Trees & Woodlands Project Officer is also planning a number of Garden Forest schemes to get more trees in gardens, to complement the great work taking place elsewhere.
Peter Wise has joined the Trust Board, bringing the number of Directors to 7. Peter is the Managing Director of the highly successful Minuteman Press Bristol and also a visiting Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire. Peter brings with him extensive marketing and business expertise and we are all really pleased to welcome him to the Trust.
The Retreat Tree Dedication Site
We have just extended our popular Tree Dedication scheme to include The Retreat community woodland between Bitton and Wick.
For £10, the Trust provides a unique and personalised Certificate of Tree Dedication to a loved one and also contributes to looking after one of four accessible woodlands close to Bristol. It’s a great gift and one which helps look after the local environment.
To receive the certificate yourself/ send it direct, please complete the Tree Dedication Form and email it to: email@example.com paying via our Virgin Money Giving account , or post to the address details on the form with a cheque payable to: Forest of Avon Trust.