Newfield Spring Wood

Newfield Spring Wood is a 30 acre, beautiful, ancient blue bell woodland adjacent to Friend’s Field. Heather was able to buy the woodland after her mother died 7 years ago and is responsible for managing the woodland. The aim and vision in the management plan is to enhance bio-diversity at the same time as restoring it as a working woodland with opportunities for education and nature connection. (Ecological survey report here and the plan of operations here.)

A wide range of groups and friends have been involved in the management and conservation work on a “work for well being” basis. We are keen observers of wildlife (bird life report here and ringing numbers on sheet 3 of chart here).

Woodland management includes thinning oaks and sycamores, clearing holly to make glades, coppicing an area of recent planting, fencing and hazel coppicing. The main group of volunteers are a group of women calling ourselves “women unboughed” . We work in the wood one weekday afternoon each week. We are always keen to hear from women wanting to come along. We also have work days in the wood open to all, usually at weekends. The next one will be for hazel coppicing late January or early February. If you are interested to know more about the women unboughed or other work days, contact Heather.

Coppiced oak

Volunteer work days on Friend’s Field engage with the wood and its products. Oaks have been used to make our workers shelter, large holly trunks are now the posts for our compost loo mark 2, smaller trunks have been bashed in as fencing posts around our orchard and long stems make the weavers. More information about the wood is in this article published this Spring in the Small Woods magazine, here.

Other groups have got to know and value the wood. Our local Woodcraft folk, children aged between 8 and 12, are regular visitors and friends of the wood. Green woodworkers run workshops in the wood and have designed and, with volunteers, built our compost toilet and are helping finish cladding our worker’s shelter. If you are interested to find out more about green woodworking workshops in the wood or elsewhere, contact Neil Trinder:

Heather is very interested to engage a wide range of people with the wood and is interested to hear from anyone who thinks their group may benefit from being involved in the wood in some way. Get in touch and take a look at this Charter for Wellbeing of Woods and People which gives some idea of responsibilities and expectations.

The wood and its position adjacent to Friend’s Field gives opportunity for a range of crafts, research and livelihoods as yet to be explored! Charcoal burning, bio-char production, greys squirrel as game meat, coppice crafts, woodland ecology are some that come to mind. Do get in touch if you have an interest:

A year in the wood 2017-18

Read a review of the last year's activities here.