Carpenters Wood in Chorleywood is at risk of being left to become overgrown unless new volunteers can be recruited. Carpenters Wood, one of the few designated ancient woodlands in the UK, covers 56 acres within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is more than 400 years old.
Friends of Carpenters Wood (FOCW) meet twice a month to maintain the woodland. They are supported by Three Rivers and the Countryside Management Service, who provide training in woodland management.
Health and safety rules, however, require the team to have a minimum number of members, and the group is currently in danger of falling below this threshold.
If the wood is not maintained, the natural growth of the wood will take over and the paths, which allow the community to explore the wood, will disappear. Stephen Hall, a member of FOCW, extols the benefits of being out in nature. He said: “My house backs onto the woodland, so it has given me a lot of joy. I wanted to give something back to the community by helping to maintain it.
“The wood is widely enjoyed by the community and great for mental health.”
Barbara Green, another member of the team, explains that FOCW do many of the small tasks which Three Rivers District Council don’t have the time for.
She said: “We have installed benches, put up 15 birdboxes and replaced way markers. The work we do to maintain paths helps to make the wood feel safer, more accessible and comfortable.”
Volunteers need to be mobile but the group stress that new recruits need not be at peak fitness.
Volunteers come when they can and do only what they can manage. All tools are provided along with protective wear. If you are interested, contact Barbara at firstname.lastname@example.org