30th November 2001

 

IF YOU GO DOWN TO THE WOODS TODAY

 

Pupils who go down to the woods at William Farr School in Welton are sure of a big surprise…

 

The 3.5ha woodland site at their school is being converted into a sustainable educational resource with the help of agriculture students at the University of Lincoln.

 

Six months after the project began students from the Lincolnshire School of Agriculture are waiting to hear whether their grant application to the Forestry Commission will be approved.

 

Funding from the Commission would enable the woodland to be turned into a safe environment for the pupils to enjoy.

 

The project was born when Trevor Hughes, business manager at William Farr School, contacted Steve Fox at the University of Lincoln to investigate the possibilities of students managing their woodland site.

 

“The school was very concerned about the poor condition of the site and recognised that there was a responsibility issue that required expert advice and appropriate actions to be taken,” said Mr Fox, who manages the Forestry & Countryside Management programme at the university.

 

Forestry Commission woodland officer John Hendrie was enlisted to help in the preparation and approval of grant aid via the Woodland Grant Scheme, and students from the Riseholme campus got involved in the planning process.

 

This semester second-year National Diploma Forestry students have been designing long-term management plans as part of their studies, and the Forestry Commission has donated a prize for the best design which will be presented next April.

 

In the meantime the group is busy making the woodland safe by removing dead, dying and diseased trees.

 

“We envisage that students and staff from both institutions will become fully engaged in the long-term sustainable management of the woodland as a valuable educational resource,” said Mr Fox.

 

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For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincoln (tel: 01522 886042) email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk