Describe your project
We manage 171 acres of beautiful woodland in Sussex for the Community. We currently have no building infrastructure to support deeper community engagement. The project will build compost loos, a workshop and amenity space for use throughout the year, and a bird hide. It will utilise timber mainly from the woodland and generate some local employment
How will your project benefit your local community?
It will allow a wide range of groups from school children though specialist interest groups, right through to the elderly to access the woodland by offering basic amenities such as compost loos and shelter, opportunities to meet and explore the woodland, and through the bird hide to observe wildlife
Please give details of any support you have from your local community
We have letters of support for the project from three levels of local government (Parish Council upwards) and communities, and an adjacent heritage group. This includes reps from local villages and local wildlife groups. We can access other letters of support. We have held community events with more than 100 people turning up, and tree planting days with greater than 40 attendees of all ages.
How big is your community? And how many people will benefit from your project?
We estimate at least 300-400 people of all ages will specifically benefit in the first 12 months of use from the existence of the buildings, rapidly growing from that to around 1000 by year 2. This estimate is partially based on the increase in community usage in the past year since basic access to the woods was provided,
Tell us what you intend to spend the money on.
We will use it as match-funding for the building of 1) compost toilets, 2) an 8m x 6m storage and amenity-comfort building space, and 3) a bird hide near a small lake. The funding will pay for the costs of the timber, milling this timber via a portable sawmill into construction materials, then the construction of the buildings, and some signage for these. It will include an out-reach programme to offer basic construction training for several young men and women not in employment.
When and why was your project founded?
It started in July 2015 when 171 acres of woodland came up for sale and were purchased on behalf of the local community.