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Wood would lift community spirit

PUBLISHED: 02:19 22 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:36 03 March 2010

TREE loving residents of a Suffolk village told today how a community-planted wood could enhance neighbourhood pride for generations to come.

Residents of Shotley Gate are planning to start a community woodland with the support of the Suffolk based environmental charity, Green Light Trust.

TREE loving residents of a Suffolk village told today how a community-planted wood could enhance neighbourhood pride for generations to come.

Residents of Shotley Gate are planning to start a community woodland with the support of the Suffolk based environmental charity, Green Light Trust.

An eight-strong steering group has already been formed and staff at Shotley Primary have thrown their support behind the project.

"It's all about involving local people and people of all ages from school children to adults," said parish tree warden, Ian Peters.

"Shotley is not particularly well wooded, especially not a community woodland where people actually take a hand in planting and managing right from the early stages."

The first move, before the group can purchase land, is to get some cash behind them through fundraising while they look around for a plot that can be bought at a realistic price.

"We recognise that land is at a premium and farmers are under pressure to produce, but we would say if it's a pain for you to look after it, we are quite willing to pay a proper agricultural price for it," said Mr Peters. No decision as to the size of the plot to be worked has been made yet.

The project is part of a nationwide network of community woodlands supported by the Green Light Trust's People Planting programmes. It aims to involve people of all ages from a very early stage and foster the spirit of caring for the environment through the generations.

Sarah Harper-Rowe of Green Light Trust said: "It's more than planting a woodland, it's about trying to get community spirit and community pride back."

n If you would like to contact the Shotley project call Ian Peters on 01473 787460.

n For information on the Green Light Trust see their website at www.greenlighttrust.org


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