Our annual report from March 2019, delivered by chairman Dick Mitchell at the AGM of the Diss Community Woodland Project.
Ten years ago 3 small unimproved meadows on Factory Lane had just changed hands from the Society of Friends to the then recently formed Diss Community Woodland Project. So, some of the trees at the far end, past the retained meadow, have now called Quaker Wood their home for just over 10 years – and how they have thrived!
All of the subsequently planted trees are now well established and are joined by a variety of natural and self sown species. These are creating their own pattern of growth and varied habitats that will develop and support a multitude of ecosystems for future generations to observe and enjoy. We have many other areas of interest to compliment the planted areas including old hedgerows, the retained area of meadow and, of course, the central pond. Nature will largely control the future development of these diverse areas but you, our supporters and users, will be ones who will introduce the next generation of youngsters. In this respect we are delighted that Roydon school use the woodland resource on a regular basis and a number of other youth organisations also make good use of Quaker Wood.
We have said good bye to the Forest School which made its home in Quaker Wood for a while and we wish them well in their splendid new home just up the road off Brewers Green.
Regular working parties still continue on the first Saturday morning and the third Wednesday morning of each month. We thank all those who contribute their time and skill and welcome all newcomers. During the course of the year we keep the paths clear, we do as much or as little as necessary to control unwanted growth and we keep a watching eye on the planted trees and hedges. This gives us an opportunity to practice hedge laying, dead hedging, pollarding, coppicing and other woodland skills. Thanks go to all who give their time for a varity of tasks.
Our social calendar will include a barbecue on 12 July and a bat walk on 30 August. Details will be announced later.
Richard Mabey officially opened Quaker Wood in June 2010, so 2020 will provide us with an opportunity to formally celebrate our 10th birthday.
Finally, I would like to say that we welcome enquiries from other user groups, from potential volunteers and we are particularly looking for occasional volunteers to assist with school visits. If you might be interested in any of these, please ask during the break.
Dick Mitchell, chairman