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Diss Community Woodland Project toast to 10-year anniversary of Quaker Wood




More than 100 people came to celebrate the belated 10-year anniversary of Quaker Wood last weekend.

Last summer would have marked a decade since volunteers from the Diss Community Woodland Project (DCWP) began a project to transform the 5.5-acre meadowland into a publicly accessible woodland.

To commemorate the milestone, a carved wooden dove – named Hope by pupils at the nearby Roydon Primary School – was installed on the entrance gate post at the woodland.

The wooden dove, named Hope, has been installed at the entrance of Quaker Wood. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.
The wooden dove, named Hope, has been installed at the entrance of Quaker Wood. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.

Richard Mabey, the locally renowned nature writer and author of books such as Food for Free and Flora Britannica, lead the celebrations, as he did back in 2010 when he was asked to open Quaker Wood.

On Saturday, July 24, he told the crowd: “I salute everything that has been done here.”

Mr Mabey praised the extensive planting programme that has helped to transform what was once an ancient meadowland into a mix of deciduous native trees and shrubs over the past decade.

(Front, left to right) Richard Pither and Dick Mitchell, with other members of the Diss Community Woodland Project. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.
(Front, left to right) Richard Pither and Dick Mitchell, with other members of the Diss Community Woodland Project. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.

The event, which was pushed back from last year due to the pandemic, also saw crafts and a variety of food and refreshments on offer; as well as live music courtesy of musical group Deneside Ramblers.

“We were very pleased with the event,” said Richard Pither, secretary at DCWP.

“We wanted a symbol of our involvement at Quaker Wood, and we spoke to the Quakers, who used to run the site, and they suggested a dove, as it is a symbol of peace.”

The idea for a community woodland was first suggested at a public meeting at Diss Corn Hall in 2006. A steering group was established in June of that year, with the purpose of acquiring and managing the site for the benefit of the local community.

In 2008, the ancient meadowland on Factory Lane was purchased from Diss Quaker Trust, ahead of a large-scale planting project by volunteers from DCWP.

Mr Pither added: “We have done a light touch of management but, mainly, we have tried to let nature run its course.”



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