NEWSLETTER - January 2004
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|Welcome to 2004 from the Community Woodland Network
Happy New Year and welcome to the first newsletter of 2004 from the
Community Woodland Network team. I hope you survived the
Christmas and New Year festive season and that Santa was kind to you
This edition contains lots of information which I hope you will find
interesting, and also includes some items which I have received
directly from you, so a big thank you to all of you who faxed or
e-mailed stories, pictures and items of interest or other appropriate
information to me – keep it all coming in.
The Westminster Reception
Minister Praises Woodland Trust for
Community Woodland Network
Alun Michael addresses Community Woodland Network Groups at
Woodland Trust Westminster reception
About 60 of you joined us at Westminster on 11
December on a very rainy afternoon to enjoy tea and cakes overlooking
the Thames and celebrate the first year of the project. It was lovely
to see and meet some familiar faces from the conference and also some
new groups who were attending their first event. Your comments
on the day told me that you enjoyed the opportunity to
meet each other and other Woodland Trust staff as well as some of our
trustees and corporate sponsors and not forgetting Clive Anderson our
new President - I think this was his first official event.
For the official Press Release
Rural Affairs Minister
Alun Michael MP
is going from strength to strength, with the visitor sessions hitting
a high of 1,817 in December. This has been growing steadily since the
conference and is good to see. There has also been, although slow, a
steady growth on the discussion boards. We will be opening this area
up to more people now we are into 2004, so for those of you who do
visit there should be more for you to comment on or join in with.
We are starting to test the group mini websites next week so hopefully
more news about these soon. As they say, ‘watch this space’!!!!
Any comments or suggestions that you have on the new home page layout
or any other parts of the site, please do let us know. Also, if there
are any other areas of information that you feel you would benefit
from if they were added to the site, again, let us know and we will do
our best to find the relevant experts.
So thank you to those of you who are supporting the site and
let's hope this trend continues.
Our grant team here at the Trust have put together some up-to-date information concerning possible grant sources which you could
apply for during 2004.
To see the document in full please
|Insurance for Community Woodland
The current insurance climate
Recently many organisations involving volunteers have reported high
rises in their insurance premiums. Some have been unable to cover
their activities at all. The problems are due to severe
difficulties in the insurance market. The industry cites
September 11, large payouts due to extreme weather events, a number
of mergers and an increasingly litigious culture as contributing
factors, and are at pains to deny that the voluntary sector is being
singled out, with the private sector facing similar premium increases.
It's hard to see how the above factors can easily be resolved, which
leaves voluntary groups in a difficult position. However, there are
some steps that groups can take to ensure that their operations are not
seen as high risk by insurers. Some insurance brokers have suggested
that many insurance companies view the voluntary sector as 'amateur'
or 'unprofessional'. Therefore groups should provide the insurance company with as much information about their
activities as possible. Let the insurers know everything that volunteers are
expected to do, and the safeguards the group has put in place to ensure
this involvement is carried out safely, from recruitment through
training to ongoing supervision. The group should make it clear that
full and proper health and safety and other appropriate policies and
procedures in place - child protection, for example.
Groups should also demonstrate that they have carried out risk assessments - and acted
upon them. This means detailing all potential hazards, the level
of risk involved, and the steps taken to lower that risk, whether it
be through information, training, safety equipment or physically
removing or altering the potential hazard. Please
click here to
go to a useful PDF document which continues this article and offers
other practical advice regarding insurance.
Keep yourself and the public covered!!!
|News from the Woodland Trust:
Christmas Card Re-cycling Scheme:
Please help us raise even more funds this year by re-cycling your
Christmas Cards at any Tesco or WHSmith store. For more information
The Successful South Coast Cycle Challenge:
As most of you will remember, Paul took part in this challenge during late September
to raise funds for the Trust and the CWN project. It was successfully
concluded with all participants completing the 250 miles and raising
the minimum £500.00 per person. To read 'the daily diary'
The Woodland Trust Supports National Science Week with the help of
John Tickle of Channel 4's Big Brother fame helps launch National
Science Week by searching for signs of spring. For full details
of the press release and the Trust's UK Phenology Network
Nell McAndrew lends her support
to 2004 Christmas Card
John Tickle helps launch
National Science Week
|World Environment Day
something to make a difference.
Environment Day is on 5 June this year and the Environment Agency is
trying to get people to pledge to do one simple thing to improve our
Attached is a pledge form with a list of things you can very easily
do to help the environment (hopefully you'll be doing some of them
already). They include things like re-using plastic bags, turning
off your TV instead of leaving it on standby, replacing at least one
two mile car journey per week by walking, cycling or using public
transport, planting a tree and putting a hippo into your toilet.
you have to do is print it off and send it in to:
Helm, Environment Agency, Rio House, Waterside Drive, Aztec West,
Almondsbury, Bristol BS32 4UD.
Fill in an online form (which obviously makes more environmental
www.environment-agency.gov.uk/wed - the site also has more information about World Environment Day
(Remember you are not
restricted to one pledge although the form says "tick ONE of the
following 10 pledges" you can sign up to more than one at once.)
To access a PDF to print off the form
World Environment Day
|Environmental Review of the Year 2003
It not quite as jazzy as 'Record of the Year' or 'Film Review for
2003' but even more important Friends of the Earth has produced a
review of all things environmental for 2003, and it certainly makes
interesting reading. To read the full review
of the Year 2003
The Ivy Myth -
Ivy (Hedera helix) is probably
one of the most commonly known, yet most misunderstood plants.
Somehow a myth has arisen that its growth will strangle trees and weaken
them. I seek to dispel that myth, and give some real facts about this
most useful evergreen plant. To
read the full article please
GPS Friend or Foe? - I know from the discussion boards that many
of you are considering getting such a system to assist you with your
woodland surveys and management. If you are considering such a
step, then before you commit funds you might like to talk this through with
someone who has completed a research project on these systems. To
e-mail Woodman, a network member, please
Ivy - Hedera helix
|Buy Native Broadleaf's on-line
The Woodland Trust has launched a Native Tree Shop with Alba trees,
to help make native trees more easily available to gardeners. Young
native trees are available for under £10 for a pack of four, including
postage and packing. We think planting native trees is one of the best
things you can do for wildlife, and obviously in years to come they
will be creating a whole new host of community woodlands! Visit
The Native Tree Shop
|Sudden Oak Death
We have recently received a large number of enquiries about
Phytophthora ramorum (otherwise known as sudden oak death), and of
course the Trust is aware of this disease. In the United Kingdom most
cases of the fungus have been found in rhododendrons, camellias and
viburnum at garden centres. It has not affected any native oak trees
as far as we know, but has been found in one beech tree, one horse
chestnut, one Holme oak and one red oak. Although these are very
isolated examples, the existence of the fungus in the UK is a concern.
We await the results of a Forestry Commission survey which are due in
April 2004. In the meantime, we are following Forestry Commission
advice, which does not involve any changes to our existing woodland
For further information, see these three weblinks/pages below:
|Other Group News - Trees for Free
“From little acorns mighty oaks grow!!” 800 free oak
This is a follow-on from the last newsletter when we received the very kind
offer of 800 oak saplings - free to a good home. I am
delighted to report that they have all been re-homed and planted by
various community groups, mostly local in the Cornwall area.
group, based at Brookings Down Wood in Noss Mayo, collected 100 oak
saplings for a planting day in December and planted these as well as
thorn, hazel, field maple, holly, sweet chestnut and birch. A
successful day was had by all.
This is a voluntary enterprise to provide a good resource for
practical nature conservation and countryside management on the Web.
They hold information on countryside law and other related topics and
also have 'an ask the ranger' section. To visit the site
National Heritage Training Group
A new training organisation which is working to develop traditional
building skills. Funded by English Heritage and the Construction
Industry Training Board, the group is also supported by a number of
partners. According to TTJ Online they have published a career
brochure together with a business plan – the website is still under
A press release about National Heritage Training Group and the business plan can be found at:
The Environment in Your Pocket
This is the seventh edition of an annual booklet of key environmental
statistics, which includes eight of the 15 Government headline
indicators of sustainable development. The data in the booklet is
based largely on the more detailed environmental statistics published
in the e-Digest of Environmental Statistics.
To download it (68 pages)
Free copies, available in A6 or A4 size, from Defra Publications,
Admail 6000, London, SW1A 2XX. Tel 08459 556000.
They are consulting readers through a short survey/questionnaire about
the format and its contents.
For the survey email:
The e-Digest of Environmental Statistics:
English Nature will be publishing The condition of Sites of Special
Scientific Interest in England in 2003: England’s best wildlife and
geological sites, on 12 December 2003. It will be available to
download. It is the first full assessment of the condition of SSSIs in
England collected over a six year period.
Woodland Planting in Advance of Built Development
National Urban Forestry Unit, Case Study 42, looks at a development in
Burton-on-Trent which planted new woodland and integrated it with
existing hedgerow before the houses were built. It preserved and
enhanced the biodiversity of the site and helped integrate the
development into the landscape.
The Forestry Commission has published the latest figures for the
Coniferous Standing Sales Price Index for Great Britain: it measures
the average price received per cubic metre of standing sales timber
from Forest Enterprise sales. The prices were 19.9% lower in real
terms in the year to September 2003 compared with the previous year,
continuing a downward path but less steep than in September 2002 when
prices declined by 28.6% in real terms. (The index is expressed in
real terms – 1996 prices – adjusted for timber size mix using Laspeyres’ method).
Forestry Statistics 2003
An annual publication presenting statistics on woodland, forestry and
primary wood processing in the UK. Priced £15 from Forestry Commission
Publications, PO Box 25, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS23 7EW and on the
A Strategic Action Plan for Urban Trees in The Mersey Forest compiled by the urban Tree Action Group and with help from Sefton
Metropolitan Borough Council – The Mersey Forest Partnership has
produced this document to help develop its role together with its
partners in respect of urban trees. It includes recommendations on how
to achieve the issues raised within the plan. Contact: The Mersey
Forest Offices, Risley Moss, Ordnance Avenue, Birchwood, Warrington
WA3 6QX. Tel: 01925 816217.
web site: www.merseyforest.org.uk
Create a Farm Woodland
A handy 40-page booklet produced by The National Forest Company as a
toolkit to help landowners plan and plant new woods on farmland. It
includes information on choosing, planting, growing and managing
trees, tips on techniques and equipment, and looks ahead to the uses of
the growing woodland and markets for timber from different tree
species. Contact: Dr. Hugh Williams 01283 551211 for copies, or it can
be found on the website
The International Wood Products Association – its 2003/2004 members
directory has been published. It includes over 180 companies from
about 20 nations. For more information
Web site: www.iwpawood.org
Grants for Trees
An on-line version of the Royal Forestry Society publication with information on schemes
offering financial help to amateurs and professionals interested in
planting and maintaining trees, woods and forests.
The National Urban Forestry Unit has just revamped its website to
include a free online forum for discussion about the issues
surrounding trees and woods in towns.
People have also been sending me lots of addresses for useful websites so
I have compiled a list with links attached - click here
Publications and Articles:
Naturalist Chris Baines has written a thought provoking article on
street trees -
To read the most recent Nature Matters newsletter in PDF format
More Good Books
Well that’s it for issue 2. As always we hope it was of interest and possibly
useful. If you would like to see any changes or have some feedback for
us about any of the content, layout or design of this newsletter then
please e-mail us at
- we will be delighted to
hear from you. Also if you have anything you would like us to include
in the next issue (published April 2004) use the same e-mail
address to contact us, or send to:
Community Woodland Network
The Woodland Trust
Watch this space!!!!
The Community Woodland Network project will be offering another
round of grant funding for groups, once again to the maximum of
£2000.00 per group starting 1 April 2004. Keep an eye on the 'about us'
section of the website for the 2004/05 application forms. We will
jog your memories again in the April newsletter.