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Community help to plant more than 200 trees in Tamworth park

A hard-working band of teenagers and community volunteers have kick-started a major tree-planting project in Tamworth.

On Sunday 4 December nature-loving residents braved the pouring rain and joined the Wild About Tamworth (WAT) initiative to plant 155 trees at Burgess Nature Park in Glascote. Later on in the week, a further 60 trees were planted with the help of a group of 15 - 16-year-olds from nearby Two Rivers School, creating new a strip of woodland along the north-western boundary of the park.

Earlier in the year, WAT was awarded £12,800 from The Big Tree Plant campaign to plant over 5,000 trees across Tamworth Borough. The initiative is staging a number of tree-planting and tree care sessions to encourage the local community to get involved.

The Trust’s Wild About Tamworth Officer Lindsey Bates said : “ The sessions will provide people with the necessary skills and understanding to plant and care for trees on both local sites in Tamworth and at home, as well as providing a great insight into some of Tamworth’s beauty spots!”

For further details, plus information on the community sessions in 2012, contact Lindsey Bates 01827 59912 or 07970 067711 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Wild About Tamworth (WAT) partnership is a joint initiative between Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and Tamworth Borough Council.

1. There are 47 local Wildlife Trusts across the whole of the UK, the Isle of Man and Alderney. We are working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. With 720,000 members, we are the largest UK voluntary organisation dedicated to conserving the full range of the UK’s habitats and species whether they be in the countryside, in cities or at sea. 134,000 of our members belong to our junior branch, Wildlife Watch. We manage 2,200 nature reserves covering more than 80,000 hectares; we stand up for wildlife; we inspire people about the natural world and we foster sustainable living.

Arboretum celebrates opening of new Land Train route

The National Memorial Arboretum marked the completion of its second Land Train route when it was officially opened on Wednesday 29th February.

Staffordshire’s Lord Lieutenant, Sir James Hawley, on his last official engagement at the Arboretum, declared the new route open and named the new train Sir James. Later he and his wife, Lady Hawley, joined other invited guests for a ride on the train, stopping to plant a commemorative tree close to the Basra Memorial Wall. For the remainder of the day, and in celebration of the opening, visitors were invited to ride on the train free of charge.

The Arboretum, which is part of The Royal British Legion family of charities, received funding for the new land train route from the Staffordshire Environmental Fund, in order to make areas of the site even more accessible, particularly for disabled and elderly visitors.

The new route passes close to iconic memorials including the Basra Memorial Wall, the Polish Armed Forces Memorial, Shot at Dawn and the RNLI memorial garden. There are a total of four stops on the route, so once visitors have bought a ticket, they can get on and off the train to view the memorials at their leisure.

Paul Kennedy, curator of the Arboretum, said: “The new train route makes our 150 acre site even more accessible. With over 200 memorials here, visitors are always surprised by how much there is to see and often comment that one day isn’t enough, so now they can see more during a single visit. It is also a welcome addition for people with mobility issues.”

For more information:

Kate Habberley, The Royal British Legion, 07943 333362, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Note to Editors:

The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK’s year-round centre of Remembrance; a spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice, and fosters pride in our country. The Arboretum is part of The Royal British Legion family of charities.

Sited in the heart of the Nation, with 50,000 maturing trees and 200 memorials, it is a beautiful and lasting tribute to those who serve their country or who have died in conflict.

Visitors from all walks of life number around 300,000 per year, including Service personnel, veterans, students of all ages, groups and individuals. Over 200 special events are held annually. The Act of Remembrance, including a Silence, is observed daily in the Millennium Chapel.

The Arboretum, situated on land gifted by Lafarge, is home to the striking Armed Forces Memorial which commemorates those who have been killed on duty or as a result of terrorism from the end of the Second World War to the current conflict in Afghanistan.

A £12 million redevelopment campaign is in place for the creation of a world-class Remembrance Centre worthy of those who give so much to our Country. Thanks to the generous donations and pledges received to date, the fund is now half way to its target.

Hands on at Gardener's World

As the weather warms up and we turn our attention outside, gardeners can get inspiration from The National Forest.

Visitors to BBC Gardener’s World Live show at the NEC (13-17 June) will be invited to get hands-on to try ancient skills still practised today.

Expert craftsmen will be on hand at the show to help visitors get to grips with the traditional woodland crafts that are seen in The National Forest.

From Wednesday to Friday Peter Wood (yes, that really is his name) from Greenwood Days will be demonstrating how to use a foot operated lathe and handing over the pedal to let visitors have a go. Pole lathes have been used for centuries to make items such as finely turned chair legs and are perfect for making those indispensible garden dibbers.

Then at the weekend another brilliant greenwood artist, Spencer Jenkins, will be delighting the crowds as he demonstrates and guides them on how to make simple willow sculptures. Spencer creates stunning willow furniture, wall-hangings and sculptures.

Peter and Spencer run courses and workshops encouraging people to try these skills. Peter said: “There has been a real revival of these old crafts through interest in the courses that we run as well as attending events like the National Forest Wood Fair”.

Both craftsmen will be at the National Forest Wood Fair on Sunday 26 and Monday 27 August, held in the stunning setting of Beacon Hill Country Park in Leicestershire. At the Wood Fair there will also be lumberjacks, the fast and furious UK Championship Log to Leg Race, horse logging, chainsaw carving, pole lathe turning, forest machinery, logging demonstrations, falconry and much more. And with loads for children to do, the Wood Fair guarantees to keep both adults and children alike entertained all day over the Bank Holiday weekend!

The Wood Fair is organised by the National Forest Company and Leicestershire County Council.

For more information on the craftsmen visit their websites:
Spencer Jenkins:
Peter Wood:

Media contacts: For further information contact either Penny Wilkinson or Carol Rowntree Jones at the National Forest Company on 01283 551211. For background information please visit Digital images available, contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

1. The National Forest area covers 200 square miles of the counties of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Its objective is to increase woodland cover within its boundaries from an initial six per cent to about a third. No multi-purpose forest on this scale has been created in the UK for one thousand years. To date the proportion of woodland cover in the Forest has more than trebled to 18.8 per cent and 7.8 million trees have been planted.

2. Year by year, The National Forest has been steadily turning what was once one of the least wooded areas of England into a multi-purpose, sustainable forest. The National Forest provides environmental, social and economic benefits, including landscape enhancement, creation of new wildlife habitats and major new access and leisure opportunities. It is an excellent example of sustainable development – with environmental improvement providing a stimulus both to economic regeneration and to community pride and activity.

3. To achieve these objectives, the National Forest Company leads the creation of The National Forest, working in partnership with landowners, local authorities, private business, voluntary organisations and local communities and has strong support from Government, politicians and the public. The Company receives grant in aid from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

4. In 2008, the National Forest Company and partners won the inaugural Sustainable Development UK Award, for their work in Ashby Woulds, at the heart of The National Forest.

National Forest Wood Fair to be two day event

The National Forest Wood Fair is to be a two day event this year for the first time in its eight year history.

Joint organisers the National Forest Company and Leicestershire County Council have announced that the 2012 event will be held on Sunday and Monday 26 & 27 August, at Beacon Hill Country Park in Leicestershire.

The decision has been taken to extend the event by an extra day thanks to increasing demand from exhibitors and near capacity attendances.

Sophie Churchill, Chief Executive, National Forest Company, said: ‘Over the years the National Forest Wood Fair has grown massively and we want to make the event the very best we can. By going to two days we can bring new exhibitors from further afield. We attract near capacity crowds and want to offer the very best entertainment over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Opening it up to two days will help many families make the most of how they spend their valuable days out at the end of the summer holidays.’

There will be double the fun over the two days:  new exhibitors are being signed up now, there will be more ‘have a go’ activities for visitors, more children’s fun and games and many high quality gifts and crafted items made out of wood.

Nick Fell, Forestry Manager, Leicestershire County Council, said: ‘There’s always plenty of interest for craftspeople and wood turners, whether it’s fine timber for sale, tools and equipment or simply opportunities to see what other people are making.  Woodworkers travel from far afield for the range of stands and products we have here.’

The Wood Fair will feature timber and logging demonstrations, horse logging, chainsaw carving, pole lathe turning, lumberjacks and tree pruning lifts. There are always plenty of activities and attractions to keep the children busy, from eco art to greenwood crafts, from make your own pizza to scaling the climbing wall.

The Food Field will be packed with delicious local produce and tempting food and drink and the day will end with an exciting charity auction in aid of Tree Aid, with beautiful items donated by various craftspeople in order to raise funds for tree planting to reduce the effects of poverty in West Africa and Ethiopia.

See for further information.

Help count the county’s bird life

Help count the county’s bird life

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is looking for volunteers to help it collect information on the bird populations on a number of its nature reserves across the county.


The nature conservation charity is appealing for local bird watchers to get involved and help the Trust monitor the benefits of its conservation work by becoming a volunteer surveyor.


The Trust manages over 2,400 acres of land across Staffordshire, which provides fantastic habitat for birds, including several nationally declining species such as lapwing, spotted flycatcher and red grouse.


Estate warden Scott Petrek, who is leading the survey efforts, said: “The information collected by the volunteer bird surveyors will be invaluable to us as it will help us to measure the impact of the conservation work we carry out and show us how we can continue to make our reserves even better for wildlife.

“At some of our regularly surveyed reserves we know our work is making a real difference. For example, at Doxey Marshes in Stafford, we know that breeding pairs of water rail have increased by 500 per cent since the Trust took over the management of the reserve.”

Surveys are completed using a simple method requiring at least three visits to allocated nature reserves. While previous survey experience is not essential, volunteer bird surveyors need to be able to identify birds by song and sight, and be physically fit enough to walk around some less accessible nature reserves.


To get involved, apply online at the Trust’s website or contact Scott Petrek on 01889 880115.

To support Staffordshire Wildlife Trust in its work looking after 25 nature reserves across the county, visit or call 01889 880100.
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