There are four owners of the 18 acres of woodland in Lower Vert Woods. Stewart Boyle, Christine Meadows, Iza Kruszewska, and Gordon Edge. Three of us have been involved with the woods from the start in 2004, while Christine joined the Party in 2015. We’ve always realised that the woods faced a massive back-log in under-management and lack of care which meant that the habitat wasn’t as healthy as it could be. We’ve seen the disappearance of the small pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly, due to several tough Springs and limited habitat. We’re also struggling to keep the habitat for our wild orchids in check.
We’ve been running regular monthly work days for volunteers for nearly 4 years now and they really help grow our community. Whatever the weather we are there on the third Sunday of each month – 9.30-4.30pm. Check out our Facebook page for updates, lifts and task focus. It’s a social gathering as well as learning to manage the woods. All ages welcome. Bring food and drink to share – we usually offer hot soup and unlimited tea and biscuits.
Since 2014 we’ve had a good working partnership with Plumpton College Forestry Department. Students have used our woods to practice their chainsaw, extraction and bowsaw techniques. This has allowed us to thin mature pine and damaged hardwoods, open up space, and encourage our native hardwoods to grow easier.
With the greater use and management of the woods we have built a rustic compost loo to allow our workers to have a sit down in comfort. This was inspired by our lovely NZ friend Glynn, mainly built by our volunteers, and especially Chris.
We offer the space for a wide range of activities, including Men and Women’s group activities, Full Moon and Solstice-Equinox ceremonies, practical courses and occasional camping. We have a more formal set of courses lined up for 2016-17.
The story of Lower Vert Woods is evolving and we welcome you to come and join us.