North Norfolk conservation projects hailed
Four conservation projects in north Norfolk have won awards for their outstanding contributions to wildlife, and community involvement.The accolades, announced today come from the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership - a group of 21 organisations from councils to voluntary groups aiming to conserve, restore and improve the county's biological diversity.
Four conservation projects in north Norfolk have won awards for their outstanding contributions to wildlife, and community involvement.
The accolades, announced today come from the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership - a group of 21 organisations from councils to voluntary groups aiming to conserve, restore and improve the county's biological diversity.
Pigneys Wood near North Walsham won a top award for the best site, while there were highly-commended pats-on-the-back for Erpingham Primary School's pond and woodland area, the Frogs conservation volunteers at Holt's Spout Hills, and landowner Charles Cornish for creating a community woodland at Trunch.
The News explored some of the successful projects.
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More information about the partnership and its work can be found at www.norfolkbiodiversity.org
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PIGNEYS Wood is 52 acres of country-lover and wildlife heaven with broad-leaved woodland, grassland, hedges, a scrape to attract migratory birds and waders, a Norfolk orchard, dykes and a canal.
The 16-year-old project is run by volunteer members of the North Norfolk Community Woodland Trust whose 'outstanding conservation and management work' has earned them this year's site award.
The woodland, about one-and-a-half miles north-east of North Walsham, open to the public at all times, is popular with ramblers, dog walkers and horse riders.
It is well signed, the Paston Way passes through it, there are walk leaflets, interpretation boards, viewpoint benches, a picnic area and a renovated barn.
But trustees, always planning for the future, want to buy more land, and they are keen to open up Pigneys to more members of the community.
They hope to hear next month about a �50,000 Big Lottery bid, part of which would pay for wheelchair and buggy-friendly paths.
Cash would also fund new ponds, a dipping platform, kingfisher bank, better picnic facilities, and a track for maintenance and emergency vehicles.
There are also separate plans to use two acres for green burials; an idea which has won substantial public backing, according to trustee directors Peter Croot and Peter Kaye.
And they want to plant more local varieties in the orchard, which already features 13 trees including a Norfolk Royal apple, discovered in North Walsham early in the last century.
Planting has been a key feature at Pigneys over the past 10 years with more than 20,000 trees, of 40 different species, hedging, and thousands of wildflowers dug in by trustees, community groups and schoolchildren who regularly visit the woodland.
Mr Croot and Mr Kaye paid tribute to Mike Cunnington and his wife Jackie who were the driving force behind Pigneys Wood from the beginning and still take a keen interest from their new home in Portugal from where Mr Cunnington runs the woodland website: www.pigneys-wood.co.uk
•Everyone is welcome to join a volunteer morning at Pigneys this Saturday, September 26, from 9.30am. Meet in the car park, off Hall Lane.
•Anyone interested in selling land to the woodland trust should ring David Gosling on 01692 405023.
OAK, ash and hosts of other native species are now well-established in one of the county's first community woodlands.
The project, begun nearly two decades ago, has earned Trunch farmer Charles Cornish Highly Commended in the Individual Award category.
Mr Cornish, working closely with experts from specialist bodies and the county council, has created Trunch Oakwood and Greenpeace Wood out of 20 acres of his land which were not suitable for pasture.
Permissive paths allow public access to the woods and a neighbouring four-acre coppiced woodland.
Mr Cornish's long-standing collaboration with Dr Gerry Barnes, chairman of the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership, is also helping the county council to monitor the effects of climate change and disease on trees.
Back in the 1980s, after advice from Dr Barnes, Mr Cornish planted three coppices in field corners, where it was awkward for large farm machinery to turn, and several hedgerow trees.
He has tagged 40 mature oak trees which have been monitored by the county council since 1999 for changes such as oak die-back.
About 30 species of oak feature in an experimental one-and-a-half acre Millennium Arboretum which Mr Cornish and his wife Barbara have also planted.
The arboretum also features varieties of maple and lime, decorative trees, and an elm which it is hoped can resist Dutch elm disease; all protected by some 450 'nurse trees'.
Mr and Mrs Cornish said they emphasised and valued the influence and inspiration of Dr Barnes, retired dendrologist John White, and Richard McMullen, of the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group.
Green-minded conservation group members at Holt are celebrating after being highly commended for their work at wildlife site Spout Hills in the local group category.
Friends of Open Green Spaces (FrOGS) was set up in 2006 and meets on Spouts Common once a month, organising working parties, social events and lectures.
With the help of their many volunteers, FrOGS members have worked to improve and enhance the biodiversity of the site, taking over much of the work done in the past by Norfolk County Council on behalf of Holt Town Council.
The site comprises grassland, scrub and mature woodland and has seven natural springs that at one time supplied the town's water.
FrOGS founder member Jean Corbett-Jarvis, pictured, who retired earlier this year after 14 years as a town councillor, said Spout Hills was an important, historic part of the town that deserved to be maintained and preserved.
'I think it is wonderful that Spout Hills has been highly commended as it acknowledges all the people who care and all the hard work they have put into keeping the site as it should be,' she added.