Who are we?

The people behind the Trust

Weaveley Furze is run by a charitable trust, registered number 249719.  Full details are on the Charities Commision website here. The current trustees are:

Margaret Price (chair)
Martin Knops
Tricia Eldridge (secretary and treasurer)
Douglas Macdonald

All live locally in the parish of Shipton-on-Cherwell and Thrupp

There are no employees but the trustees are supported by an enthusiastic pool of volunteers, some 15 strong. New recruits are assured of a warm welcome, whether they give a morning a year or have more time to spend or prefer to help with organising, fund-raising or other parts of the trust's work.

There is also very little money. The sale of bean and pea sticks, not forgetting the rhubarb, just about cover's our running costs. Because one of the charitable purposes of 'Poors Allotment' is the alleviation of poverty in the parish,  any excess is given to local schools.

Major projects, such as gate and fencing repairs, machinery and equipment and replanting have to be financed by grants and contributions. If anyone would like to make a donation please email martin@martinknops.co.uk .

Here is the Chair (Margaret)'s report to the trust's AGM held on Monday, April 24th 2017:

I can’t believe that a year has gone by since my last report but it has and looking back so much has happened from a very successful tea party to confirmation that wildlife abounds in Weaveley Furze.

In May it was the 10th anniversary since the ‘Reawakening’ of Weaveley Furze took place and it was decided to celebrate by inviting all those who have helped in whatever way since then to an informal tea party in Weavley Furze on the 18th June.   Delicious ‘woodland’ style eats including a wonderful pastry tree were enjoyed by about 18 sitting under a canopy which was strung from the trees above in case the weather was inclement, but thankfully it turned out to be a lovely afternoon. 

Throughout the year the Blog has been splendidly kept up to date by the two Martins (Wainwright and Knops) with numerous photos and the work that has taken place.   It is now really informative, fun and interesting to look at and even has a very short piece of film.   The photos show how wonderful this little wood of about 4 acres is for wildlife from animals to birds, butterflies, flowers, berries and fungi.  

There is a very large mound with entrance holes in one area and it was felt it couldn’t be just rabbits.  In the New Year Perry Knight kindly put up his camera which is triggered by movement and has patiently been looking through several thousands of photos which have been taken.  This has certainly paid off because he has managed to capture deer, foxes and two badgers. 

Sadly there are a few draw backs to having certain wildlife, trees have been damaged from the ground to the top most branches either by rabbits, deer or squirrels and if the damage circles the entire trunk or branch it will die as can be seen on several of the Field Maples.

Work parties have been numerous mainly due to the enthusiastic e-mails from Penny and Martin Wainwright announcing when they will take place and always with the encouragement of cake, cheese and coffee being available to all.    Work is mainly done in the winter but also includes keeping the tracks open in the summer using ‘The Beast’.  Growth is extensive so this winter it was decided to concentrate on certain aspects of keeping the wood in good shape.  This has included - the river ‘Humber’ being cleared of debris, overhanging branches and fallen trees and one of the tributaries being opened up too; invasive blackthorn being cut back from each side of the trees in most of the racks; hazel being coppiced to encourage young growth from the bottom of the stools; large branches being cut off especially ones overhanging the hazel area and old Man’s Beard being cut off at ground level and if possible dug out.  It has certainly been a busy few months.

Over the last year or two Martin Knops has ensured that most of the equipment needed for the work is stored in the shed and this includes ‘The Beast’, a large and very effective mower which unfortunately due to a lack of engineering knowledge ‘died’ at the end of last summer.  It has now been restored to full health and is back ready for action.

A huge amount of hazel was cut last year for peasticks and bean poles but not all of it was used so it was hoped it could be this year.   However, it was felt the peasticks were too brittle but the bean poles were trimmed and all being well will be bought by family and friends as there were not enough bundles to take to Bunkers Hill Nursery for sale.

On cleaning out the nest boxes it was found that several of the wooden ones were in very poor shape.  The woodcrete ones have been brilliant and much used by the Tit family so another three were purchased.  They are more expensive than wooden ones but last a great deal longer, stay dry and are easy to access for cleaning.   A suggestion was made that we could ask friends of Weaveley Furze if they would like to make a donation towards the boxes and the response was incredible.  The Trustees are extremely grateful to all those who responded with such very generous donations which have more than covered the cost of the boxes.  A decision will be made as to what the rest of the money can be used for which may well include replacing some of the fencing. 

CAFBANK has been our bank for many years but last year began to charge £5.00 a month.   Interest was stopped a few years ago and with such a small balance we felt the annual fee of £60 was not justified.   At the beginning of this year the account was moved and is now with Barclays Bank which does not charge a monthly fee.  Our Public Liability Insurance is with RAP and the amount we are covered for has gone down from 10 to 5 million which the Trustees felt was adequate.

The Charity is now very fortunate to have many enthusiastic volunteers and I hope you will forgive me for not naming them all individually but I would like to give a very sincere thank you to all for keeping Weaveley Furze in good heart whether it is being a Trustee, coming along with great enthusiasm to work parties and providing sustenance, keeping the brilliant Blog up to date, patiently filming the wildlife and giving donations including the proceeds from the sale of produce.  Without you the wood would be very much the poorer and the diversity of wildlife for all to enjoy would be poorer too.

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