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Consultation – What you told us during the Greener Gardens Weekend

Windmill Piece, or Millennium Wood, was planted by Padbury residents to celebrate the millennium. It is leased to Padbury Parish Council for free from the Woodland Trust. The Parish Council manage a separate fund to meet the maintenance of the wood.

It is thought a windmill once stood at the southern end of the site and the wood’s name reflects this local feature. This woodland is planted mainly with oak and ash, all of which was planted at the same time, unlike naturally developing woodland areas. The wood covers approximately 14 acres.

A management plan is a vital component of successful forest or woodland management which allows operations to be undertaken on a strategic, rather than ad hoc basis.

There are a number of good reasons to produce a woodland management plan:

Woodland management is a long-term commitment. A plan enables an owner to make coherent decisions to manage the woodland to reach their objectives and to pass on information about ongoing management of woodland to contractors or subsequent owners.

A management plan allows an owner to provide evidence of compliance with the legal obligations associated with woodland ownership, such as obtaining felling licences or management of protected habitat.

A management plan provides evidence of ongoing activities to support applications for independent certification, it is also a requirement for the payment of a number of Forestry Commission grant schemes and other funding sources.

The current management plan ran out in 2014.

1. Woodland Maintenance plans: The Greener Padbury Group would like to hire a consultant to improve on the current management plan, given the fact the wood has grown significantly in the 12 years since it was written (2009-14).

The plan would:

Address how best to improve biodiversity in the wood

Consider how our community can be involved in the care and maintenance of the wood

Consider what opportunities there are for further diversification – ie plant an edible forest, understand how to support the wild orchids already growing in the wood, or better encourage natural , appropriate layering seen in a native wood rather than trees mainly at one height.

I agree the current outdated maintenance plan (2009-2014) be updated appropriately – seeking professional advice to improve biodiversity - 62 VOTES

I do not believe any more work needs to be done other than occasional coppicing once or twice a year - 5 VOTES

I would like to see opportunities for the community to become involved in the care of the woodland - 4 VOTES

I believe the woodland had greater natural potential than is being realised - 11 VOTES

2. Wilding Padbury’s Verges: Across the country, local councils are adopting a more natural way to manage their verges.

These reduce mowing, encourage wildflowers and boost insect population.

There is clear advice on how to encourage wild verges whilst ensuring visibility for traffic and pedestrians. We would like to work with the Local Authority and the Parish Council to wild more of Padbury’s verges and smaller green spaces.

This may mean that at times the verges might look unsightly as the wildflowers die back and go to seed. However, at least 1 metre of verge would be kept mown to ensure visibility and safety.

I would like to see Padbury wild its verges and other green spaces. I understand that, at times, this may not look as neat as I am used to but I am keen to encourage more biodiversity - 54 VOTES

I am happy with closely mown verges but I would be keen to see small areas of green/grass begin to become wilder. (opposite village Hall, near War Memorial, By post box etc) - 16 VOTES

I prefer to see closely mown grass areas throughout the whole village. I do not want to see any wilding of verges or grassed areas. - 5 VOTES

3. Forest School: Forest School is a child centred inspirational learning process, that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions in a natural setting. It supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. IT develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands on experiences in a natural setting. Thousands of schools incorporate Forest School into their curriculums across the UK.

Prior to covid, Padbury school pupils travelled over half an hour by bus to attend Forest School.

In collaboration with Padbury School and Preschool, we believe Millennium Wood is a valuable resource and would allow Forest School to take place on our doorstep.

No construction would need to be erected in the wood. Everything takes places amongst the trees.

A grant would secure the equipment and training needed for the school staff to make this a long-term reality.

I agree Forest School should happen for Padbury School pupils, once or twice a week for up to two hours at a time in Millennium Wood. - 68 VOTES

I do not agree with Forest School being run from Millennium Wood even though public access would not be restricted at any time - 0 VOTES

I agree Forest School should happen once or twice a week for up to two hours at a time AND I would be prepared to put my dog on a lead as I passed the group only. - 30 VOTES

4. Community Involvement: The Parish Council has a fund to cover the maintenance of Millennium Wood. However, in order to keep costs low, retain as much of the fund as possible we would like to find ways to involve Padbury residents in the care and maintenance of the wood.

Yes, I would like to be involved. We are a family of adults, teens and children - 22 VOTES

Yes, I would like to be involved – we are adults only - 17 VOTES

No, I do not want to be involved but I think it is a good idea - 7 VOTES

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1 Comment

Brilliant. Great to see this here. It was great to be able to talk to so many enthusiastic people. looking forward to next steps!

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