Millennium Woods is one of PEN’s land-based projects. Owned by Cornwall Council, this thin strip of woodland was created around the turn of the millennium to off-set the building of the A30 bypass just outside Penzance. PEN is the leaseholder, and we have thus far managed the wood with the emphasis on public access, through path creation and upkeep, reducing invasive species such as bramble and thistle to enhance the site for increased wildlife diversity, creating different habitat areas and planting native species.
· Awarded BTCV grant for £10,000 in 2004.
· Woodland management day courses, covering suitability of trees for the site, choosing trees to be thinned, raising the crowns and wildlife value of different trees. In March 2012, Greg Humphries ran a one-day charcoal making workshop.
· Visits by children from Alverton Primary School. One PEN volunteer to each group of ten children showed them different trees and flower species.
· Catalogue of tree species and wildflowers started particularly in the form of photographs for the Britain in Bloom competition and for library exhibition spring/summer ’04.
· Tree nursery built, including rabbit proof fencing and a gate.
· Willow bog (a lavatory system using willow that flourish on absorbing the nutrients for human waste)
. In January 2012, PEN organised a Horse and Craft Day, involving green woodwork demonstrations and coppicing. Over 40 people attended.
In February 2013, we had another Horse and Craft Day, involving horses to pull coppiced material through the woods. At least 20 people attended.
This project is now moving forward with a new 5-year working management plan, and work has begun to thin out many overcrowded trees. The co-ordinator is Adam Jacobs, who can be contacted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The overall aim is to bring a selection of trees to greater maturity by thinning those around them, thereby opening the canopy for the development of ‘under-story’ flora. By introducing more light to the forest floor, the hazel will grow back straight and vigorously once cut, and we wish to establish a 7-year rotation coppice cycle for the hazel.
Volunteer days are on the last Sunday of each month from 10am-4pm. Please register your interest by becoming a member of PEN, find out what activities we’ll be doing on the next workday so you’ll know what to bring, or just turn up and see what’s what.
PEN is a volunteer-based organisation, and this community woods project is about all of us collectively involving ourselves helpfully, so we can all use the site constructively. We wish to create a sense of ownership within the community which should form a solid foundation for future continuance. If you would like more information, please contact the co-ordinator at the address above.