Posts categorised in Our Projects RSS feed for Our Projects

Examples of the Charity’s range of projects.

Local Schools Plant Orchards

10 schools from across the area learnt about the benefits of trees and planted orchards as part of our Schools Orchard project this year. Supported by Western Power Distribution, worked with schools in Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, some of which were also part of the Natural Connections outdoor learning project.

We worked with the following schools, providing guidance, free fruit trees and helping out with planting where needed:

Cameley Primary, Bath & North East Somerset

Welton Primary, Bath & North East Somerset

Ashcombe Primary, North Somerset

Crockerne Primary, North Somerset

Westhaven Special School, North Somerset

Courtney Road Primary, South Gloucestershire

Longwell Green Primary, South Gloucestershire

King’s Forest Primary,  South Gloucestershire

Parkwall Primary, South Gloucestershire

The Meadows Primary, South Gloucestershire.

A big thank you to the hundreds of children who got involved and planted a grand total of 95 fruit trees.

If you would like to sponsor an orchard of English fruit trees at a local school, please email: jonclark@forestofavontrust.org

Posted in: Business Sponsors, Garden Forest & Allotment Orchard, Latest News, Our Projects | Tagged , , |

1500 more trees on Bedminster Down

This picture shows staff from Bristol’s ‘Bristol Hotel’ enjoying a well-earned break from planting 1500 trees at Colliter’s Wood on Bedminster Down.

They joined volunteers from UWE to do this, with the help of Alun Griffiths contractors and North Somerset Council.

The Trust also worked with volunteers to plant a woodland and a hedge at Stockwood Open Space as part of Bristol City Council’s 1 Tree per Child project; and [ii] with South Gloucestershire Council to agree street tree planting in Staple Hill and elsewhere.

 

Posted in: Business Sponsors, Community Partners, Future Woods, Latest News, Our Projects, Volunteering | Tagged , , , |

Get a Woodland Management Plan for Free

A new range of woodland grants are available under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. These provide funding for a five- year programme of work to improve woodland and also capital payments for specific improvement work.

To apply for these grants you now need a current Forestry Commission woodland management plan and the Forest of Avon Trust can produce this for you for free.    

The Forest of Avon Trust has produced approved woodland management plans for 750 ha of woodlands locally. We can produce a plan for you for free if you have woodland 3ha or larger and you allow us to claim a Woodland Planning Grant from the Forestry Commission.

Interested? Then please contact Executive Director: Jon Clark on: jonclark@forestofavontrust.org or (0117) 963 3383 for a without obligation discussion about the options and the grant payments you could receive to help you manage your woodland.

Details of the new Countryside Stewardship Scheme are available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/countryside-stewardship/application-process

Posted in: Latest News, Our Projects, Safeguarding our Trees, Woodland Management | Tagged |

Woodlands for mental wellbeing

This summer we’ve been running a series of woodland sessions aimed at people with low to mid-level mental health needs based in the community. We wanted to encourage people to get outside, spend some relaxing time in nature, meet other people and try new things.

We hoped that people would find out if being in nature could help them develop coping strategies for daily life.

This pilot project was run in association with Public Health: Bristol and Lawrence Weston Community Farm. Participants were told about the sessions by their GP and could attend free of charge.

Activities ranged from making elderflower cordial to whittling, learning about wildlife and trying out simple survival skills. Participants came up with ideas of what they wanted to do, and session leaders helped them to follow their interests by providing expertise and support.

Feedback at the end of the pilot was very positive. One participant said, “I no longer stare at the ground when walking about, instead I’ve learned from being here to look around at all the colours, remember tree names and maybe collect fallen leaves”.

They went on to say, “my family and boyfriend have noticed a big improvement in my depression and are always asking what I have done when I come home.”

We hope to expand the Forest of Avon Trust’s nature-based health and wellbeing projects in 2016, based on the interests and needs of different groups. Do get in touch if you are interested in working with us: jonclark@forestofavontrust.org

Posted in: Latest News, Our Projects, Woodland Wellbeing | Tagged , |

New Video of our Work

Click here  and play for a short video which showcases some of the charity’s work and that of two other local projects.

Posted in: Latest News, Our Projects, Videos | Tagged , , |

Chris Bloor: the Community Forest Path

Chris BloorChris Bloor joined the Forest of Avon Trust in April as Trust Director with responsibility for outdoor access. Here Chris reflects on his interests and some of the work that he will be leading for the charity:

“One of my main interests in working for the Forest of Avon Trust is to improve and promote the Community Forest Path (CFP) – the 45-mile route around the City of Bristol, designed by Rennie Dickins and created by the Forest of Avon  to link areas of the Community Forest and also lead people out of the city into the countryside.

The Community Forest Path at Dundry“I have been looking after the path for four years, since the ending of the Forest of Avon Partnership. I think of myself as taking care of the forest in its original sense, which has little to do with trees and woodlands. The forest was the place to get out, from the Latin foras! (to the gate! or out!), the answer the exasperated Roman might give when their partner asked Quo vadis? (Where are you going dear?) I agree with internationally renowned, conceptual artist Richard Long (who lives in Failand) when he says, ‘A walk expresses space and freedom’, (except I would say run).

“I instituted the Green Man Challenge to promote the Community Forest Path and reinvented the term Woodwose to describe those who complete the challenge inside 24 hours. There are currently 266 Woodwoses entered in the Forestal Book of the Honourable Order of Woodwoses. The number of people completing the challenge has increased considerably now that Ultrarunning Ltd has taken it up as an ultramarathon race.

“I have written two books of walks designed to carry out the aim of the Community Forest Path (CFP) to lead people out of the city into the countryside. These routes circle off sections of the CFP and are designed to visit community centres such as pubs and cafes and to link woods, rivers and nature reserves to the CFP. They are beginning to look a little dated as pubs close, bus routes change and green spaces are built on.

“As a Director of the Trust I want to help the charity continue to grow and in initially will focus on: improving signage and waymarking along the Community Forest Path; finding ways of making my routes freely available and building links with the North Bristol Health Trust.”

Posted in: Our Projects | Tagged |

Natural Connections launch for Somerset, Bristol & Wiltshire

Natural Connections, one of the largest outdoor learning initiatives in the country, is coming to Somerset, Bristol and Wiltshire. This new educational project aims to inspire and connect school children with the natural environment by supporting and promoting teaching outdoors. David Bond, the inspiration behind Project Wild Thing, will launch Natural Connections on 27 June at a conference at Ashton Court.

80 local primary and secondary schools will work together through Natural Connections to develop a culture of taking learning outdoors. The project hopes to inspire and engage teachers, pupils, parents and volunteers. Teachers can also benefit from specially tailored online resources and links to local partners as well as information on additional funding sources for outdoor projects. Schools in Somerset and Wiltshire are supported by the Forest of Avon Trust, and in Bristol by Lighting up Learning.

Natural Connections Project Manager Ian Blackwell said: ‘Parents, teachers, businesses, communities… Everyone has the same ambition over the coming years. We all want to see children enjoy learning, keep healthy, and achieve more in our schools. We hope that access to local outside spaces for lessons through the Natural Connections Project will help achieve this.’

Jim Burt, Principal Advisor for Outdoor Learning at Natural England said: ‘The Government wants to see every child in England given the opportunity to experience and learn about the natural environment… Feedback from teachers and schools participating in the trial to date has been overwhelmingly positive.’

The Natural Connections conference, on Friday June 27, is open to schools, partners, community groups and outdoor learning providers from across the area. You are welcome to attend the event to find out how to get involved in the project and to discuss partnerships.

Natural Connections Hub Leaders manage the project at local level, in partnership with Plymouth University. The Forest of Avon Trust is hub leader for Somerset and Wiltshire. For more information please contact Jon Attwood on: (0117) 963 3383 or email: jonattwood@forestofavontrust.org

Download the Natural Connections Conference flyer (pdf) for 27 June.

Posted in: Forest School, Latest News, Natural Connections, Our Projects | 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 , |

Radstock & Haydon Trees are Looking Great

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.

Posted in: Community Partners, Latest News, Our Projects | Tagged |

New Tree Dedication Site Near Bristol

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: info@forestofavontrust.org 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.

Posted in: Community Partners, Latest News, Our Projects | Tagged |