Rotary Grant to Groundwork

With the help of a grant of £1000 from the Rotary Club of Hexham and Rotary District 1030, the charity Groundwork North East and Cumbria is working with young people from the Acomb and Hexham area in the woodland area known as Acomb Pit Heap Woods

The woods at Acomb are part of a 30 year old reclamation scheme on the old pit heaps of a coal mine that was operational from the 1860s to the 1950s.

Groundwork’s Project Officers Laura Waugh and more recently James Stafford have been working with the owners, Northumberland County Council, and local volunteers in the woods for the last 12 months. In 2014 Laura won a Forestry Commission - Woodland Improvement Grant to work with volunteers to carry out practical tasks to improve access and biodiversity in the woods. The group has put in paths, built steps, felled trees to allow sunlight in, built benches, removed old fencing and planted hedges. The group has also put on a woodland Christmas event, an Easter event for Acomb Youth Club and two community tree planting days.

James is at present working to engage young people in practical conservation and woodwork to develop their skills and help them into work or further training.

Peter Oliver, Junior Vice President of the Rotary Club of Hexham, said “ Groundwork North East and Cumbria are seen by the Rotary Club of Hexham as just the kind of local charity we like to help. With that help Groundwork will work on the reclaimed woodland area at Acomb Pit Heap with local young people to build up their skills towards employment and further training”.

Laura Waugh of Groundwork said “The woods provide a fantastic outdoor training environment. The task of managing these woods requires skills such as communication, observation, team work, concentration, tool use and health and safety which are all transferable skills for life. We are hoping that this will help young people from the Hexham area to get into further training and employment.”

For more information about this programme or other work that is done in Northumberland by Groundwork North East and Cumbria ring 01670 514876. Email:laura.waugh@groundwork.org.ukor check the web-site www.groundwork.org.uk

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