Ruislip Woods Trust and the expansion of Copse Wood – update 2nd May 2021
Until October 2020 the triangle of woodland at the top of Copse Wood, (29.1 acres) bordered by Copsewood way was in private ownership, the rest having been sold to the Middlesex County Council by Kings College in 1938. In the 1982 Long Term Management Plan for Ruislip Woods adopted by the London Borough of Hillingdon (LBH) a recommendation was made that the wood be purchased and incorporated into the public open space.
In 2013 two Trustees of Ruislip Woods Trust (RWT) contacted the owners to discuss the purchase of the wood and eventually an offer was made which was declined. In January 2020 initial conversations between myself and one of the owners of this woodland started and after discussing it with the other Trustees we decided to make another attempt to buy the land. Having obtained a valuation, I made a new offer to the owners and we eventually agreed on a purchase price of £88,000. Following protracted contract negotiation between the parties completion of the purchase by the Trust took place on the 7th October 2020 whereupon it was immediately sold to LBH.
In Autumn 2020, the Department of the Environment set up a £40M Green Recovery fund administered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Natural England and the Environment Agency and opened it for applications. The fund is designed to create 3000 jobs for environmental projects. LBH and Groundwork made an application and were jointly awarded £190K. The projects to be funded locally include management work in the new part of Copse Wood and the appointment of an Education officer based at the Woodlands Centre at Ruislip Lido. The overall project is entitled Natural Connections Colne Valley.
A steering group for the project was created in December and consists of representatives from LBH, Ruislip Woods Trust, Bucks County Council, Groundwork South, and the Colne Valley Park
Groundwork has set up “Green teams” to undertake the practical management and have appointed a Project Manager and Green Team Supervisor and we are waiting for news from LBH regarding the appointment of an Education officer.
The Green team started work at the northern end of Copse Wood in mid-April and has been removing invasive species such as Laurel and Holly and will be undertaking some coppicing of the Hornbeam each side of the official footpath R63.
At the 13th April 2021 RWMAG (Ruislip Woods Management Advisory Group) meeting, the guest Councillor Eddie Lavery LBH Cabinet Member for Environment, Housing and Regeneration agreed with the proposal to set up the necessary Management Plan to allow this purchase to be added to the NNR in time for the 25th anniversary of the Ruislip Woods NNR being designated London’s first NNR in May 1997.
Trustee/Treasurer/Acting Chairman to Ruislip Woods Trust
Hillingdon Council has invested £88,000 to acquire a further 30 acres of ancient semi-natural woodland in Ruislip Woods, to manage and protect for future generations to enjoy.
The council worked with Ruislip Woods Trust to acquire Copse Wood, which will become part of the council-owned Ruislip Woods National Nature Reserve. The nature reserve consists of 726 acres and constitutes 10 per cent of ancient, semi-natural woodland in Greater London.
From 1st October HOAC will be forced to close as the Centre finally succumbs to the advancing HS2 project. HOAC will continue to exist, they have the funding in place to relocate and will return. There will however be a period of time that they will be unable to operate.
Most of us are suffering from this prolonged hot and dry spell so spare a thought for the young trees our Council have planted. We have noticed a few saplings with leaves turning brown through dehydration.
The Council does have a contractor to look after watering but as you can imagine they are quite stretched at the moment.
Can we appeal to those green-fingered residents who happen to have a young tree outside of their property to ” adopt” this tree and help to keep it alive during dry weather. Most of these have a green hydration bag attached. If you could give these a couple of watering cans of buckets of water every few days it would be a great help.
The Open Spaces Society held their virtual AGM on July 9th consisting of the minimum statutory business and with all voting by proxy. We saw a similar number of participants using the online voting facility as voted by post in previous years. There are a number of significant changes to the board and the draft minutes with all of the detail from the event are on our website. https://www.oss.org.uk/agm2020-2/
Thank you to all of our members who adapted with us to make our 2020 virtual AGM a success.
We held our virtual AGM on July 9th consisting of the minimum statutory business and with all voting by proxy. We saw a similar number of participants using the online voting facility as voted by post in previous years. There are a number of significant changes to the board and the draft minutes with all of the detail from the event are on our website.
The book is currently out of print but available now to read on our website, so there is no need to miss our general secretary Kate Ashbrook’s narrative that charts the society’s activities over the years.
More than 50 supporters have subscribed to the society’s You Tube channel and over 200 have watched our new legacy video already. If you haven’t already, click here to watch it now, we think you are in for a treat.
We couldn’t keep fighting to protect commons, greens, open spaces and public paths without our members. We rely on member subscriptions to fund our work and provide a mandate for action.Many thanks for your continuing support.
Following many messages from residents, Cllr. Puddifoot has announced that the Lido Beach will be closed, once again, from Monday 1st June.
No date, or criteria for any future re-opening, have, as yet been confirmed.
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