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Wacton's Woodland Project is drawing to a close




After three years, thousands of pounds and the help of dozens of volunteers, a village woodland project is drawing to a close.

The Woodland Project, which was first mentioned at a Wacton Parish Council meeting in 2016, involved putting in carefully-designed pathways, glades to support native wildlife and installing two benches and one shelter.

Parish councillor Peter Jacques and former chairman Tony Rowson were the driving forces behind the lengthy project, which received funding from the Long Stratton Lions, the National Lottery and district councillor Des Fulcher.

From left former chairman Tony Rowson, volunteer Ian Logan, councillor Peter Jacques and artist Maurice Read. Picture by Mark Bullimore.
From left former chairman Tony Rowson, volunteer Ian Logan, councillor Peter Jacques and artist Maurice Read. Picture by Mark Bullimore.

“The woodland was an asset that we weren’t using and now it’s a place where you can go for a walk, take time to reflect and enjoy the tranquillity,” said Cllr Jacques, who is also the tree warden.

Previously overgrown and used as a dump, the nature spot in Wacton, near Long Stratton, now gives villagers a chance to enjoy the outdoors and creates a space for children to learn about the environment.

“I’m very satisfied that an idea has turned into something practical and of benefit to the people of Wacton and the wider community,” said Cllr Jacques, 70.

Around £8,000 was needed to complete the project and nearly 50 volunteers gave up their time to help.

These included residents, police cadets, community payback workers, conservation volunteers and around 15 students from Long Stratton High School.

Maurice Read designed the sign at the entrance to the woodland, which sits on just under an acre of land.

Log piles, dead hedges and bird and owl boxes will provide an essential habitat for native wildlife.

The only thing missing before the project is officially declared complete is the installation of a litter bin, which is due to arrive next month.

The nature spot will be maintained by the parish council.

READ MORE: Villagers set to plant 150 trees to tackle climate change

In the future, Cllr Jacques will also look into planting more trees around the village.



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