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Community Takes Over Woodland in Scarborough

Community Takes Over Woodland in Scarborough

Published by the Yorkshire Coast Radio News Team at 1:26pm 21st January 2015.

A 222 hectare (550 acres) area of woodland on the edge of Scarborough is set to undergo a transformation after its handover to local community ownership has been confirmed today.

Raincliffe and Forge Valley Woods will be transferred from Scarborough Borough Council on a 30 year lease into management by the Raincliffe Wood Community Enterprise (RWCE), a social enterprise owned and run by members of the local community.

With support of organisations including the Woodland Trust and Groundwork the group will focus on the development of the site under three broad themes; wildlife, people and enterprise. Key activity will include its restoration to broadleaved woodland, the encouragement of greater public use and generating sustainable income from timber sales, employment, volunteering and other enterprises.

Robert Sword, Chair of RWCE said: “This is an exciting time, 2015 will see the RWCE begin restoration on site - the first for over 50 years - and apply for funding to establish dedicated staff, equipment and a work base locally.

“There will also be a number of volunteer roles created, with the group looking for support in a number of areas including practical conservation work, research, communications and education. Raincliffe Wood is predominantly conifer woodland and part of the initial planning is to thin these woods into a deciduous woodland to increase biodiversity.”

People will have the chance to learn more about future plans for Raincliffe Woods on the 6th and 7th of February when public meetings will be held at The Street, Community Centre, Scarborough, YO12 7PW.

The RWCE’s business plan and woodland management plan will be presented and people can learn how they can support the project and become a member.  For further information contact one of the directors Mark Feather on 01482 863597.

 

John Bradley (Director RWCE): “After working on this for nearly 3 years I am very pleased with the decision; it has been well worth the wait. I am very grateful for all the support we have received from various individuals and organisations.”


Mark Feather of the Woodland Trust, added: “Experience tells us that people care passionately about their local environment and the transfer of this important wildlife habitat to the RWCE can only be good news for its long term future.

“The Woodland Trust has over 40 years of experience in managing woodland across the UK and we are delighted to be able to support the local community in turning Raincliffe Woods into something truly unique.”

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