Wilder Woods

Central Somerset Outdoor Learning Partnership

National Lottery Grant for Drayton Wildlife Project: ‘Green Growth’

by Hannah Aitken - February 21st, 2024.
Filed under: Uncategorized.

We are delighted to have received funding from the National Lottery Community Fund to run our Green Growth project of woodland wellbeing sessions and village wildlife activities, following on from the creation of a Drayton Wildlife Map in 2022. This funding has has enabled us to run successful programmes of Woods 4 Wellbeing, Wilderplay and Wildlife Awareness sessions through Autumn 2023 and continues in to 2024.

Participants have taken part in various woodland activities and celebrations of the seasons, including nettle awareness, bramble basketmaking, tree planting, tree care, rustic stool making, spoon making as well as mindfulness activities aimed at relieving anxiety, building confidence and a sense of community.

As we start our New Year Spring Season we have started sessions again although the ground is again very wet after a lot of rainfall in January. The Wellbeing group is running fortnightly and hedgerow basketmaking groups are very popular, as well as an indoor Mindfulness group ‘ Guidelines for Wellbeing’

Wilderplay (which is a family group for adults with pre-school age children) will start again after Easter, when hopefully the ground and the mud will have dried out somewhat.

We are aware of an increasing need for people to find a space to relax, play and find creativity around the campfire in the woodland environment. As well as feeling part of a group and being valued for just who you are, everyone is accepted and skills, ideas and smiles are shared.

Our wildlife activities continue to help people build a beneficial relationship with the natural environment, through building awareness, and knowledge of the local flora and fauna. Gaining an understanding of the complex web of our ecosystem is more important than ever as we see it being threatened more and more by human activity. We hope our activities engendered a desire care and preserve it. Wildlife events have included talks to local groups, a bat watch and a Wildlife Fair attended by over 80 people in our Drayton Village Hall.

Coming up in March, we are holding hold a Dawn chorus event on March 3rd to which all are welcome. We are lucky to have RSPB manager Damon Bridge help us listen and identify the bird song we hope to hear and this will be followed by a campfire breakfast & woodland management activities; Foraging sessions will also start in March, collecting & sharing recipes(nettles chickweed, cleavers !) with a local Langport group. We will also be continuing our Woods for Well being for adults programme. Wilderplay will start in April.

All these activities are made possible by the people who buy tickets to play the National Lottery fund! we would like to offer them our heartfelt thanks and also to the organisers who make these funds available to small grass roots charities like ours. We are able to reach, consult with and benefit a wide range of people in our community, all who have a shared interest in woodlands and wildlife.