The Re-awakening

A new era starts in 2004

Please click once on any picture to enlarge it, and on the marked phrases to visit the relevant group's website.

In 2004, after some years of debate, the trustees resolved to drum up a revival of Weaveley Furze's ancient purpose combined with modern woodland management in the interests of wildlife and visitors. A thorough survey in May that year led to contact with the Oxfordshire Woodland Project and a fund-raising target of £9,800 for initial work and five years' consolidation.   

Trustees visit the Furze in May 2004 to decide what action to take to benefit the woodland, wildlife and visitors
Courtesy Shipton-on-Cherwell & Thrupp Newsline

Initial clearing of a patch of the wood during the visit
Courtesy Shipton-on-Cherwell & Thrupp Newsline

Thanks to the generosity of the Trust for Oxfordshire's Environment, Cherwell district council, the Forestry Commission and Shipton-on-Cherwell and Thrupp parish council, funds were raised pay for two years' work which started immediately, much helped by enthusiastic volunteers. In May 2006 a Grand Re-awakening of the Furze was held in the main glade amid the trees.

The blueprint for the future which won funding in 2005/6

Woodland work is fun! A working party of volunteers in 2005
Courtesy Shipton-on-Cherwell & Thrupp Newsline
And here they are again in glorious Technicolor - (L-R: Margaret Price, Alison Matthews, Paul Teasdale, Tricia Eldridge, Paul Eldridge, Mark, Olivia and Martin Knops, Tony Matthews) 

The trust maintained its grants to local people in need throughout this period, including modest funding of schools whose pupils paid organised visits to the Furze as part of the national curriculum. The footpath sign on the Banbury-Oxford road, and the gate and noticeboard at the entrance to the wood (pictured left) were also installed to help and encourage visitors. Other events included voluntary clearing sessions by individuals and groups, including the planting of 100 trees in one day in December 2006 by members of the Oxfordshire Baha'i community. The Oxford Playbus also gave generous help under their scheme to offset the environmental effects of road transport by helping local woodland.

Others join in: Oxfordshire's Baha'i community plant trees in December 2006
Article and photo courtesy of the Oxford Times
As the revival continued, a section of the wood was set aside for hazel coppicing which became a modest but steady earner for the trust through the sale of peasticks and beanpoles - enthusiastically cut and shaped by volunteers - at Bunker's Hill garden centre nearby. These have been joined by Christmas holly garlands, while many other projects have been debated, from the encouragement of wild edible fungi to nesting boxes for owls.

The trust has benefited from other generous donors in recent years, including Woodstock Natural History Society and the sale of rhubarb in Thrupp,  We are constantly seeking new ideas, of which this website launched in November 2015 is another example, and especially welcome anyone interested in occasional sessions of planting, clearing and coppicing. You may have read Thomas Hardy's The Woodlanders. Now you can be one!  Please use Contact Form to get in touch.

No comments:

Post a Comment