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In association with


Following a meeting in Fordham on 19th July 2004, it was decided to form the 'Friends'.

If you would like to get involved in the largest Woodland Trust project in the country, please contact us. Whatever your interest, be it tree planting, wildlife conservation, flowers and fauna, whatever, please get in touch.

For the time being and until we have formed a properly constituted organisation, please register your interest by sending an email to Geoff Sinclair at the Woodland Trust or to us at:


NEWSLETTER No 1 - September 2004


Welcome to the first of an ad hoc and very informal update note on activity at Fordham Hall Estate. The update gives brief background to work currently or about to happen; and also lists activities and events occurring.

Update on Activity

Car park: Work has started today (6th September) on the construction of the car park. This will mean a fair bit of local disturbance for the next four weeks. Thirty or so immediate neighbours were leafleted with my details as a contact point in case their are any concerns.

Tree Planting: It looks as if this year we will not be planting as many trees as we originally planned. This is largely due to changes in the way agriculture is funded and that, in the perverse way of these things, we will make make a fair bit more money by delaying work till Autumn 2005. This year 10 Ha's (25 acres) is to be planted instead of the 32 Ha proposed. There is still a big job to do as the 10 Ha's equates to around 25000 trees. So as to ensure continuity of work for our contractor we will still do the fencing for the planting area being delayed. Fencing work will start towards the end of September.

Management Plan: A management Plan for the whole estate area is in the process of being prepared. This will cover all aspects of the site's management and, once finished, will be the subject of public consultation. Much of it is based on previously consulted work proposals.

Tree Survival: Overall we have been very pleased on how the first 60000 or so trees have done, they could not have had a better summer! The Forestry Commision forester that checks up on the work we have done commented that it was the best scheme he had seen. Detailed tree survival surveys have still to be done this month.

Organic Weed Control Trials: The ten different techniques being trialed have had a very mixed response in controlling weeds. Some have had virtually no effect to almost complete control. The Forestry Commission researchers will be doing more assessment work this month on tree growth in the plots. I will also be preparing remedial work proposals for those trials that have not worked as some areas look particularly overgrown and tree established will be compromised unless we do something. In Spring 2005 we will be hosting a national conference on alternatives to pesticides for use in forestry.


Bat Box Erection/Walk: On Wednesday 15th September we will be erecting a number of specialist bat boxes in the compnay of Simon Leatherdale a local naturalist and bat expert. Once this is done we will go and hunt out bats with Simon using bat detectors. Meet at the Three Horseshoes pub at 6.30 pm from where we will walk to the site. There is parking closer to the work area if you are coming by car so that we do not fill the car park. It will start getting dark around 8pm and we should see/hear the first bats around then. (I heard pipestrelles at 8.15 last week). How late you want to stay will be up to those present and Simon, as different species have different 'waking-up' times.

Tree Planting: The 'Community Planting Day' at Fordham will be on Saturday 20th November from 11am to 3pm. We will require lots of help both with planting trees but also with running the event on the day. If you can help on the day with running the event please let me know and I will put you on the list of willing slaves for the day.

Friends Meeting: I have been away for the best part of a August so have been slow in getting the follow-up to the first meeting of 'Friends' organised. I will organise a follow-up for before the 20th November meeting.

My Contact Details

Geoff Sinclair

2 Five Acres





Tel 01473 327 771

Email: geoffreysinclair@woodland-trust.org.uk

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