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Our vision for a wildlife-rich woodland receives an enthusiastic response

On Sunday 19th June, the Greener Padbury Group held a consultation day in the village hall. The aim was to share the work we have undertaken to date, our ambitions and future ideas and, most importantly, the proposed woodland development plan.

In May this year, we engaged woodland and conservation specialists Future Nature to undertake a basic survey of the Millennium Wood and propose a management plan to improve the biodiversity in the wood. This is particularly important as the wood is new; being planted at the millennium it is now nearly 22 years old and this has a bearing on how much natural wild planting and, subsequently, wildlife will be present.

Almost 150 residents came through the village hall doors to hear more and cast their vote on what they thought was important for the wood. We were astounded and are so excited at the level of interest and engagement. Thank you!

There was a resounding majority voting in favour of the plans, which you can see in full on here. Most popular were the development of scalloped edges to the rides through the wood with wild plug planting and seeds, allowing the creation of a more natural woodland canopy and more diverse habitat. We have subsequently applied for funding to support this work and hope to hear later in August.

There was much interest and support for preserving and managing specific hedgerows which are known as breeding sites for declining species of brown hairstreak butterflies and there was interest in the digging of a sheltered, fenced off pond purely for use as a donor site for amphibians.

So many of you stopped to talk to us and share ideas and as a result the following have started and are planned for the autumn:

· In July we ran two bat walks, using a sonic detector to identify where the bats were around us.

· We continue to set moth traps in the wood and have a growing number of volunteers join us early in the morning to count, record and release the moths. We have recorded over 70 different species so far, some of which have been quite unusual.

· Our free woodland activities for children continue throughout the summer and we have applied for more funding to run these through the autumn.

· We ran a ‘Breakfast and Biodiversity’ morning in early July which was fabulous!

· Lastly, in response to all the interest in understanding low carbon and what we can all do as individuals we are holding an evening event in the village hall on Thursday 15th September from 7 to 9.30pm.

· If there is sufficient interest, we will run a short carbon literacy course over three evenings in October. Again, this will be free but numbers are limited so please do contact us if you are interested.

There is much more in the planning - please do visit our website and go to Latest News for all our upcoming events, or sign up to our newsletter:

As ever, we would love to hear from you or any group in the village that would like to support Padbury in becoming a greener village!

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