the story of how this woodland for everyone was created with absolutely no capital!
The 5th of April 2003 was the day that Pentiddy Community Woodland first opened its gates for the public to enjoy but there was 2 years of hard work beforehand to get to that point!
When Anthony and I bought Pentiddy Woods in 2001, this field was to be included in the sale but we didn’t have enough funds to buy it so we set about exploring possible fundraising ideas to create a community woodland. The farmer kindly gave us 6 months to try to pull the funding together and we had a very supportive group of friends and family nearby who formed a committee with us so we got busy. Starting with the obvious, we contacted the Forestry Commission to enqure about their woodland Grant Scheme for the creation of new woodland which looked very hopeful but would not cover all the costs and wouold not pay the grant until all the trees were planted (which was not going to happen in 6 months!)
Caradon District Council came to the rescue with the offer of an interest free loan which we hoped would give us the extra time we would need to raise the money to buy the land. It was time for some serious fundraising which also neccessitated forming a charity – not straight forward. After mountains of paperwork we managed to secure funding from Western Power Distribution, The International Tree Foundation, The South Bodmin Moor Forum, The Silvanus Trust, The Healthy Living Initiative, Caradon District Council and the National Lottery. We set up a tree sponsorship scheme which was a great success with trees being sponsored by people all over the world! We also took donations of tree saplings from local residents and from a timber framing company, carpenter Oak, in Devon. With £26,000 secured we had enough to buy and plant the native trees and buy the land with just enough left to have a launch party!
The planting of the 6,500 trees all took place from Novermber to March 2003 with help from parish and district councillors, environmental students from America, the Silvanus Trust and every child in Pensilva school.
Now in its 15th year, Pentiddy Community Woodland has become a much-loved and much-used place buzzing with dog-walkers, children and wildlife. The management of the woods has habitat creation at its heart and presently involves an annual selective thinning of the trees which are then sold as firewood to enable the charity to pay for the insurance to keep the woods open to the public.
If you would like to support the work of the Pentiddy Community Woodland charity you would be very welcome to join in as a committee member or trustee, come along and help on our winter work days or purchase a load or two of firewood. All support is appreciated!