Alternative - Contributing to local economies: 2009 Kidney Wood Community Management

1. Project Title
Ancient semi-natural woodland purchased and adapted for access and enhanced biodiversity

2. List the main RWS theme(s) relevant to your project
Quality of Life/Education & Training/Economic

3. Short Project Description
6.8 ha of woodland was purchased by Luton Borough Council and is now managed for community access and recreation.

4. Project Status

5. What has been undertaken to date?
At the outset an archaeological survey was conducted and a directory of mature trees produced. Early-on a friends group was established and volunteers have constructed willow fences and are helping to manage derelict parts of the site. A trail was constructed and way marked and, since installation, there have been a number of guided walks and awareness events aimed at the local community.

6. Any specific lessons learned?
It is important to secure professionals’ advice concerning woodland management practices from the outset. Also it is equally important to secure the community’s views and support at the earliest opportunity. Finally, education of the Borough’s staff as to the site’s nature and value is vital as well.

7. Future Developments
Working alongside the community on proposals for the site’s future. A play trail and accompanying leaflet will be produced to exploit some of the Wood’s clay pits. A circular heritage walk connecting to the nearby Stock Wood Discovery Centre and a health trail is to be developed. Consideration is being given to re-instating coppicing in the Wood to exploit this renewable energy resource.

8. Contact Details
Jane Conway,
Luton Borough Council, Parks Service

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