Date: Thursday 21 May 2015
We’re providing support to a voluntary group which is improving an area of woodland bordering our forthcoming Scholars Chase development in Filton, Gloucestershire.
Our team in Bristol is working with Sims Hill Community Woodland Management Group as part of a project which will see the woodland opened up for the whole community to enjoy.
So far, we have funded:
A Forestry Commission-approved management plan, which has enabled Sims Hill Community Woodland to take responsibility for managing the site
Tree-thinning work, which has now been carried out, to help the woodland flourish and improve biodiversity
A pot of core funding to pay for insurance and tools.
As part of the planning agreement for Scholars Chase, we will also be funding work to create a track through the woodland.
Sims Hill Community Woodland is managed by a voluntary group of Forestry Commission employees based at Bristol Business Park, which is located next to the woodland. Students from the University of the West of England have also been helping with the work.
Steve Fowkes, a member of the group, says: “Sims Hill wood was previously quite neglected, and this neglect had had a negative effect on biodiversity. As Forestry Commission employees, we spend a lot of time espousing the benefits of managing woodland properly so we thought it was appropriate we should manage the woodland on our doorstep.
“We did some litter picking and initial clearance work along the path as well as removing old barbed wire fences, and then Taylor Wimpey very generously agreed to support us to get the heavier thinning work done to open up the area and let some light in.
“We’re really pleased with the relationship we’ve developed with Taylor Wimpey and are looking forward to continuing this as the housing development takes shape. We’re getting work done that we couldn’t afford to do otherwise, and the track will give access to a pleasant woodland walk for all to enjoy.
“Our aim is to improve the wood for biodiversity, and for the benefit of the residents who will live here and the people who work in the business park.
“As the new homes are built, the fact that there’s a small, well-maintained woodland that belongs to the community and has public access right next door will be an attractive feature for people looking to move to the area.”