Elmswell

Since 2009, more than 1600 trees, at least one for every household in the village, have been planted in Elmswell, West Suffolk.

Orchard planting in Elmswell

It’s all part of an initiative called ElmsWild. Founded in 2002 with help from the Green Light Trust, the group was formed to explore opportunities to create and manage wildlife habitat in the village. In 2009 they were awarded a grant from the Big Lottery’s People’s Millions fund and this enabled them to buy four acres of land – since then there’s been no looking back!

The new land was named Lukeswood after the Reverend Luke, Rector of Elmswell in the 1860s. Mary Feeney, who has been involved in ElmsWild since its inception explains why this name was chosen: “Reverend Luke was a Victorian whizzkid who introduced many changes, including the village school. We like to think that, were he still here today, he would approve of our plans and would enjoy seeing this new addition to the village in the 21st century.”

Lukeswood is now a well-loved resource enjoyed by whole community. It’s easily accessible from the village, frequented by school children, families and nature enthusiasts alike – and regular species and habitat surveys are being undertaken to monitor the long-term benefits for wildlife.

In 2013 the group successfully raised enough money to buy a further 2.5 acres of adjoining land and they are now establishing this as a traditional community orchard with help from the Suffolk Traditional Orchard Group.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust was involved with ElmsWild in their early days. Mary remembers the Trust’s help in carrying out a grassland survey, which was a condition of the 2009 funding:

“Getting funding for buying the land was a great challenge and it really helped to be able to say that the SWT were advising us – it gives small community based groups like ours the credibility that funding bodies increasingly expect. And it’s also reassuring to know that SWT is always there to turn to as the project develops”.

Tracey Housley, the Trust’s conservation adviser, added:  “ElmsWild are a shining example of community action for wildlife. They are an inspirational group who have made their corner of the world that much richer for wildlife – and for the people that live there.”

If you’d like to know more about the ElmsWild please contact Mary Feeney on 01359 241901 or email info@elmswild.org.uk . The project also has a great website: elmswild.onesuffolk.net/

Elmswell

Orchard planting in Elmswell

Since 2009, more than 1600 trees, at least one for every household in the village, have been planted in Elmswell, West Suffolk.

Orchard planting in Elmswell

It’s all part of an initiative called ElmsWild. Founded in 2002 with help from the Green Light Trust, the group was formed to explore opportunities to create and manage wildlife habitat in the village. In 2009 they were awarded a grant from the Big Lottery’s People’s Millions fund and this enabled them to buy four acres of land – since then there’s been no looking back!

The new land was named Lukeswood after the Reverend Luke, Rector of Elmswell in the 1860s. Mary Feeney, who has been involved in ElmsWild since its inception explains why this name was chosen: “Reverend Luke was a Victorian whizzkid who introduced many changes, including the village school. We like to think that, were he still here today, he would approve of our plans and would enjoy seeing this new addition to the village in the 21st century.”

Lukeswood is now a well-loved resource enjoyed by whole community. It’s easily accessible from the village, frequented by school children, families and nature enthusiasts alike – and regular species and habitat surveys are being undertaken to monitor the long-term benefits for wildlife.

In 2013 the group successfully raised enough money to buy a further 2.5 acres of adjoining land and they are now establishing this as a traditional community orchard with help from the Suffolk Traditional Orchard Group.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust was involved with ElmsWild in their early days. Mary remembers the Trust’s help in carrying out a grassland survey, which was a condition of the 2009 funding:

“Getting funding for buying the land was a great challenge and it really helped to be able to say that the SWT were advising us – it gives small community based groups like ours the credibility that funding bodies increasingly expect. And it’s also reassuring to know that SWT is always there to turn to as the project develops”.

Tracey Housley, the Trust’s conservation adviser, added:  “ElmsWild are a shining example of community action for wildlife. They are an inspirational group who have made their corner of the world that much richer for wildlife – and for the people that live there.”

If you’d like to know more about the ElmsWild please contact Mary Feeney on 01359 241901 or email info@elmswild.org.uk . The project also has a great website: elmswild.onesuffolk.net/