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Wragby couple find fitness in the woods

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Using a bow saw to prepare a pole for den building

Outdoor fans are being invited to follow the example of a Wragby couple who have picked up loppers, clippers and bow saws to help improve Lincolnshire’s woods.

Louise and Rod Buckingham are two of the latest recruits to the Forestry Commission’s groundbreaking woodland workout project which started in 2009.

The initiative, run in partnership with the Lincolnshire Limewoods Project, gives people chance to keep in trim by nurturing new habitats for wildlife at Osgodsby Wood, near Market Rasen, and Great West Wood, near Wragby.

Louise and Rod moved to Lincolnshire from Kent ten years ago seeking a better quality of life. 

Struck by the beauty of the countryside, they are now doing their bit to make it better for animals, plants and people.  So far they have learnt how to lay hedges, coppice trees and have removed invasive vegetation and planted trees in key areas.

“It’s been great to learn so many new skills and also meeting a wide variety of like-minded people,” said Louise, 46, who is a shop assistant and who like husband Rod, a 58 year old lorry drive, works part-time.

"Before we started hedge laying we had no idea what a fascinating craft it is and steeped in local traditions.  We love the great outdoors and being able to put something back into the environment is really gratifying.”

The couple have also been able to take part in traditional woodland craft workshops such as willow weaving, green woodworking and bushcraft.

Hannah Darcel, Health and Wellbeing Ranger with the Forestry Commission, explained:

“It’s all about giving Mother Nature a helping hand and doing yourself a power of good.  Because you can work at your own speed it’s also perfect for people recovering from illness.”

Every session starts with gentle stretching exercises to get people warmed up and supple and more volunteers are always welcome, adds Hannah.  Great West Wood is part of the Bardney Limewoods National Nature Reserve with many plant species. Osgodby Wood boasts a range of habitats including heathland and a pond which have the potential to support more wildlife.

Session are held on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at Osgodby Wood and every second Tuesday of the month at Great West Wood, although locations can occasionally vary. For more information and a registration pack contact Hannah Darcel on 01623 822447, mobile 07789 942599 or email


Forestry Commission England is the government department responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. For more visit

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