How quickly the year has gone, but how the Friends of Uddens and Cannon Hill Woodlands have grown in that time.
We have had 6 work parties covering a wide selection of tasks including path surfacing, picnic table and bird box installation, rhododendron clearing and even clearing the banks of Uddens Water of Himalayan Balsam.
The public meeting in Colehill Memorial Hall was standing room only and our membership has grown from 11 this time last year, to 149 as of this month.
We also have well over 200 people on our mailing list!
It has been a frustrating year with regard to the threat of a proposed travellers transit site in our woods with very little news forthcoming.
The only comfort that can be taken from this situation is that as the time passes our group is getting stronger and will be even better placed to fight any threat to OUR woodland.
Chairman Retires –
We are sorry to announce that Michael Gorse has retired from his role as Chairman and Trustee.
Michael felt the time was right for someone else to take on the mantle, allowing him more time to focus on some of his other interests.
He was instrumental in forming the group into a professional and coherent organisation, working with and respected by the Forestry Commission and Dorset Countryside.
The trustees would like to take the opportunity to thank Michael for all he has done over the last couple of years and reassure the Friends that we fully intend to continue to build on those foundations.
Our Vice Chairman Janet Healy will take over as temporary Chair until a suitable replacement can be found.
She has been a member of the Dorset branch Executive Committee for the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) for some years and is currently a Focus Group Leader for the Green Belt in Dorset.
Janet is also a member of an influential local environmental group.
We would love to hear from anyone who is interested in being more involved in the running of the group.
Our first committee meeting of 2014 will be on the 6th January and we will publish our plans for the year online soon after. Again we welcome suggestions!
Work Parties –
This Autumn we have had 2 very successful work parties . The latter one held in December, our first held in our own right, had an amazing 30 people attending during the day.
We have continued our work (in conjunction with the Forestry Commission) to eradicate the invasive Rhododendron starting in Cannon Hill South (Uddens Woods).
The transformation on the site has been phenomenal , letting light on to the forest floor to allow a greater diversity of flora and fauna and it will eventually give better access to the woods for all to enjoy.
It was also a very social event with all ages getting involved. We celebrated the work achieved during the year with mince pies, sausage rolls and sausages cooked on the bonfire.
Have a look at the photos and read the full report on the here.
Gravel Extraction –
Some more good news!
Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Minerals and Waste/Mineral Sites Plan (covering 2013 to 2016).
Both the Cannon Hill and Uddens sites have been withdrawn with the following wording: 'Site has been withdrawn by promoter and is not being currently considered.'
PLEASE NOTE THE WORD 'CURRENTLY'. We are alright for now, but we cannot be complacent!
Fly Tipping –
There has been an increase in Fly Tipping on Uddens Drive (South), please keep your eyes open and report any suspicious activity to the police on 101.
The considerable cost of clearing up afterwards sits with us all as tax payers.
The Trustees will be discussing the issue the next committee meeting, so would welcome any suggestions.
Picnic Tables –
We hope to have our new picnic tables (funded by Dorset Community Foundation) installed in time for the summer.
We have some ideas for locations on both sides of the A31, but would like to know your views.
Is there a spot that you feel would make an ideal location for a picnic or somewhere just a bench to stop and rest would be appreciated?
Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Friends of Uddens and Cannon Hill Woodlands