SOCCT Newsletter

Sparrowgrove Oakwood Copse Conservation Trust

Sparrowgrove Oakwood Copse Conservation Trust

SOCCT owns and manages Sparrowgrove Woods and Oakwood Copse on behalf of the local community. It’s a charitable trust funded by local donations and with support from the Parish Councils of Otterbourne and Compton & Shawford.

These woodlands are a rich and varied mix of trees, birds, insects and all forms of wild life. The woods were purchased for the community to enjoy for recreational,  educational purposes and to protect a natural environment. There was a particularly stunning display of bluebell recently in Sparrowgrove Woods and there are many other floral examples. There are many pathways in each wood available for use, we have now cleared up the entrance on Otterbourne Road but please take care the paths can be uneven.  In addition to normal routine path clearance we have also been tackling a back log of outstanding maintenance work. This has included meeting Highways regulations for street lighting, trees interfering with various cables and of course clearing paths and boundaries. We have also dealt with the odd tree getting blown over or being considered a hazard. With significant help from our volunteer band we have made steady progress in all areas. The boundaries have been cleaned up, we have replaced the fence along the main road. Various specialist groups are tackling specific issues such as fencing and coppicing. More volunteers are always welcome particularly for our first Sunday in the month 11am get together, meeting by the entrance in Sparrowgrove.

Bluebells in Sparrowgrove
Photo of bluebells in Sparrowgrove by Mike Southgate

We do need to pay for materials such as wood to maintain fences and special tools. There is also the need for specialist professional help that we need to engage and pay for particularly when felling diseased trees. We have currently identified a programme of specialist work which needs to be undertaken over the next few years. The speed with which we can tackle these problems is inevitably governed by finance. We also need to ensure the woods are properly insured and regularly inspected. We would welcome any donation to help us continue and speed up our work either as a one off or as a regular standing order. If you are able to Gift Aid any payments this also benefits the charity with an extra 25p for each pound spend.

We would encourage anyone who has a specific interest in the woods to become a Member and help us promote the educational and conservation objectives of the Trust.

An AGM is currently scheduled for Members on the 21st June at 19.30, followed by an open public meeting at 20.00. at the Bianchi Room at Otterbourne Village Hall. The aim of the public meeting is to explain what has been going on since purchase, to answer any questions and to encourage membership and financial support.

Donations and Membership forms together with a fuller version of this news summary are available upon request or from the website. We would welcome any feedback either via the website or the contact phone numbers.

Colin, Mike, Dave, Vicki, John, Kerrin, Dick Trustees for SOCCT.

Contacts: 07825 291377 or  07976 258703 or www.socct.org