SOCCT Newsletter – Summer 2013

Sparrowgrove and Oakwood Copse Conservation Trust

Sparrowgrove and Oakwood Copse Conservation Trust

 The Background:

Well it’s four years on since the Sparrowgrove and Oakwood Copse woods were purchased with the help of local donations assisted by the Parish Councils for all in the community to use and enjoy.

Together these woods amount to around 35 acres, which include a number of different tree and plant species providing habitat to a variety birds, animals and insects. The bluebells in Sparrowgrove are particularly stunning! SOCCT’s objectives remain the same as at the outset, to sustain the woodlands as they are, to enable public access and over time to enhance the conservation and biodiversity therein.

A Small Band of Volunteers have done much:

Since those four years, volunteer groups working for a couple of hours once a month have contributed some 1,000 hours in keeping paths clear, repairing the perimeter fencing, clearing boundary undergrowth, coppicing and beginning to install some dead hedging in Sparrowgrove as a fencing alternative which also has the benefit of using the waste material from the coppicing and providing wildlife habitat.

That’s not including the hours spent on administering the Trust, fundraising and liaising with Scottish & Southern Electricity on the forthcoming ‘underline clearance’.

Comprehensive Tree Survey:

We have also had a comprehensive tree survey completed, at significant cost, on the Southern border of Sparrowgrove and North and Western border of Oakwood to ensure that where the woodlands border properties, we are managing the risks. This has helped us to prioritise our work programme over the coming year although funds will be required where the work is beyond our volunteer capability.

There’s More to be Done and many Opportunities:

Looking forward, the main activities outside of the normal pathway maintenance are to continue with the coppicing, to complete a good section of dead hedging along Sparrowgrove and influence the underline clearance which is due to be completed in the Autumn. Funds permitting we hope to repair some of the damaged sections of fencing along the Sparrowgrove Road over the next few months.

In addition to these there may well be a number of opportunities to develop the woodland for both community use and wildlife. All of these require leadership, funds and resources. If you would like to see specific ideas pursued then please talk to us and more importantly come and give a hand, whether it’s developing a plan, giving money or time. We need all the help you can give.

We need Support from across the Community – Your Money and your Time:

Gathering sufficient funding for the Trust is an ongoing concern, our preference is for many more local people to give small regular amounts via a direct debit supplemented by one off donations by those that prefer, along with grants from the Parishes and other bodies. We are pleased to have received recent donations from both Parishes.

The AGM is planned to be held in Otterbourne Parish Hall on the 8th July at 19.00. Please come along to hear and meet the trustees and let us know your views. As July is still some way off please don’t wait until then if you wish to give us a hand or to contribute cash or in other ways, please see our website where there’s a Gift Aid form

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

Contacts: 07825 291377 or 07976 258703

See also June 2011 newsletter 

Sparrowgrove and Oakwood Copse Conservation Trust is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England and Wales No. 06602967. Charity Reg no. 1125903 Registered office: 14 Sparrowgrove, Otterbourne, Winchester. SO21 2DL