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The Wyre Community Land Trust has launched a fresh campaign to recruit volunteers to help restore traditional orchards and hay meadows around the Wyre Forest, as part of the Grow With Wyre Landscape Partnership Scheme.
The Grow With Wyre Landscape Partnership Scheme is led by the Forestry Commission and was set up to help restore the unique landscape of Wyre, celebrate its rich working history and help protect rare species like butterflies.
This £4 million Scheme is mainly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and is made up from 18 projects, covering biodiversity, community involvement, access, local history, economic regeneration and education.
The Wyre Community Land Trust is supported by regular volunteers who assist with fencing, restoring and re-planting orchards and hedges, installing water troughs and other infrastructure to support the grazing of cattle and sheep. The volunteers may also help with collecting and pressing fruit, rounding up livestock and other farming and forestry tasks.
The Wyre Community Land Trust is building on the success of its existing volunteer work programme by starting a new weekly volunteer task every Thursday and is seeking new volunteers to come out and join in with this enjoyable and rewarding work.
Volunteers have the opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills and get out into some of the best countryside in the country, right in the heart of the West Midlands. No experience is necessary as training is provided for all of the activities carried out.
Mark Cleaver from The Wyre Community Land Trust, says:
“This is a great opportunity for people to do their bit for the Wyre Forest and help protect our natural heritage.
“We want to give people from all over the region the chance to get involved, learn new skills and have fun at the same time.”
People interested in volunteering should contact Mark Cleaver at The Wyre Community Land Trust on 0777 585 0480 or email@example.com
Andrew Budd, Grant Manager from Grantscape, says:
“Grantscape are very pleased to be providing funds for the Partnership Scheme and Wyre Community Land Trust to train local volunteers in orchard maintenance.
“The Wyre Forest's traditional orchards are really important for the range of species they can and do support, including many that are listed in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. So, looking after them well is a top priority."
The Wyre Community Land Trust is a social enterprise organisation and partner to the Lottery-funded Grow With Wyre Landscape Partnership Scheme. The Trust works closely with its partners from the Scheme on a number of projects, including helping to restore land owned and managed by Natural England and the Forestry Commission.
The Community Land Trust is based at a small farm set it the heart of the Wyre Forest, just outside of Bewdley, and is delivering a range of projects based on restoring traditional orchards and hay meadows, including replanting lost orchards.
The Community Land Trust also manages a small herd of Dexter cattle that used to graze the traditional orchards and hay meadows in order to maintain their biodiversity.
The Forestry Commission is the lead partner in the Grow With Wyre Landscape Partnership Scheme, joined by Natural England, Shropshire County Council, Bewdley Development Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Worcester County Council, Wyre Forest Study Group, Wyre Community Land Trust, Wyre Forest District Council, Bewdley Development Trust and the National Trust.
For more information on the Forestry Commission in the West Midlands visit www.forestry.gov.uk/westmidlands
For more information about the Grow With Wyre projects visit www.forestry.gov.uk/growwithwyre
NOTES TO EDITOR
Images of the Wyre Forest are available by calling 01524-782086.
1. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible for forestry in Great Britain. It supports woodland owners with grants; tree felling licences, regulation and advice; promotes the benefits of forests and forestry; and advises Government on forestry policy. It manages more than a million hectares (2.5 million acres) of national forest land for public benefits such as sustainable timber production, public recreation, nature conservation, and rural and community development. For further information, visit www.forestry.gov.uk/westmidlands.
2. The Grow With Wyre Landscape Partnership Scheme is being delivered by a partnership of the following organisations. The Forestry Commission is the lead partner in the Grow With Wyre Landscape Partnership Scheme, joined by Natural England, Shropshire County Council, Bewdley Development Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Worcester County Council, Wyre Forest Study Group, Wyre Community Land Trust, Wyre Forest District Council, Bewdley Development Trust and the National Trust.
The Grow With Wyre Landscape Partnership Scheme is led by the Forestry Commission and was set up to help restore the unique landscape of Wyre, celebrate its rich working history and help protect rare species like butterflies. This £4 million Scheme is mainly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and is made up from 18 projects, covering biodiversity, community involvement, access, local history, economic regeneration and education.
Two of the 18 Grow with Wyre projects are linked to provide training for volunteers in butterfly identification in the Wyre Forest - Back to Orange and Branching Out. Back to Orange has received a £74,000 grant from SITA Trust, which is being used by the Forestry Commission, Butterfly Conservation and Natural England for essential habitat restoration work in special areas of Wyre to maintain the strongholds of the fritillary butterflies, including Hurst Coppice, Dowles Brook and the Great Bog near Bewdley.
The Forestry Commission, Butterfly Conservation and Natural England are all closely involved with the Back to Orange Project. Butterfly Conservation has been working with the Forestry Commission in the Wyre Forest since the late 1980s, with work focusing on the survey and monitoring work and management advice.
3. SITA Trust - SITA Trust was set up in 1997 and runs two major funding programmes including Enriching Nature – for biodiversity projects in England. Each year, SITA Trust commits over £7 million nationwide through the Landfill Communities Fund, see www.sitatrust.org.uk. Landfill tax was introduced in 1996 to encourage more sustainable ways of managing waste. The landfill tax legislation also brought about the Landfill Communities Fund. This scheme allows landfill operators to voluntarily donate 6.6% of their landfill tax liability to environmental improvement projects. The Landfill Communities Fund is independently regulated on behalf of HM Government’s Revenue & Customs by ENTRUST.
4. Butterfly Conservation is the largest insect conservation charity in Europe with nearly 15,000 members in the UK. Its aim is the conservation of butterflies, moths and their habitats. It runs conservation programmes on over 60 threatened species of butterfly and moth and manages over 30 nature reserves. Further information www.butterfly-conservation.org. Much work is delivered through the charity’s regional branches and the West Midlands branch holds an annual programme of events aimed at raising awareness of the region’s butterflies and moths – www.westmidlands-butterflies.org.uk
5. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded a Stage One pass of £1.86 million to the Grow With Wyre’ Landscape Partnership Scheme. HLF enables communities to celebrate, look after and learn more about our diverse heritage. From our great museums and historic buildings to local parks and beauty spots or recording and celebrating traditions, customs and history, HLF grants open up our nation’s heritage for everyone to enjoy. They have supported more than 33,900 projects, allocating £4.4billion across the UK. Website: www.hlf.org.uk
6. GrantScape – GrantScape has a twelve-year environmental and community grant-making heritage. It is also a major funder of biodiversity projects across England and Wales (see www.grantscape.org.uk). Since 2005, GrantScape has awarded some £10 million through its Biodiversity Challenge Fund to 25 major projects considered to deliver the most significant gains for UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) priority habitats and species. Grow with Wyre’s “Rejuvenating Traditional Orchards, Special Trees and Ancient Hedgerows” project was one of six grant award winners under its 2007 Biodiversity Challenge Fund. The £294,000 grant from GrantScape is also being made available through the Landfill Communities Fund, using monies provided by Waste Recycling Group Ltd.
Bob Griffiths (Wyre Forest Landscape Partnership/Forestry Commission) on 01299-269228 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alison Coggon (Administrative Officer - Grow With Wyre) on 01584-813828 or email email@example.com
Mark Cleaver (Wyre Community Land Trust) on 0777 585 0480 or email firstname.lastname@example.org