Quarterly Report 1 – July 2018

Update for Volunteers: Bosahan Woods Management Team

Dear Volunteers,

As you know Public Meetings were held on 23rd and 24th May in The Social Club and Tolmen Centre. 40 plus people attended each session. The meetings were very positive, with most people wanting the woods to stay as natural as possible, which is also our aim. There were concerns about the swing and its safety. Alan agreed to check with our insurance to see what exactly was covered by insurance. After the meetings forms were left in the Spar Shop and Constantine Stores, for residents who were unable to attend the Public Meetings. An article was also inserted in the Constant Times and Constantine Church Magazine. So far, we have had 45 commitment forms returned, with suggestions, offers of physical help and £400 in cheques and a further £480 in promised donations.

The Woodland Management team have met 3 times and have agreed on the following:

Obtained quotes for immediate Health and Safety work on trees that were a danger to the public alongside the paths. These have subsequently been cut down and the wood left for edging work on the paths. Signs were left on the felled wood asking it not to be removed from the woods. When looking at the wood along the footpaths, we were mindful of the requirement for a head height of 3 metres on the bridle paths.

We have developed a management plan, as required by C.E.C.

We have set up a group email: bosahanwoods@gmail.com which we will use to communicate with you with an email address. We are in the process of adding all your names to a group contact list for communication. Those without email will be sent paper versions.

We are in the process of setting up a dedicated page on the Constantine village website.

We had a meeting with Penny Hodgson the Countryside Ranger for public Rights of Way in Constantine. We walked the entire woods, looking at the footpaths and she fully consents to the proposed work of re-instating the footpaths and is willing to supply some material to help do that. We talked about the temporary shutting of footpaths to allow the work to be done and agreed a system using volunteers, to act like traffic light workers, before and behind the digger. Also to put up signs to alert the public to the work being done. Penny said that in her experience once paths are re-established a lot of the informal paths will stop being used as the proper paths will be easier to use. The paths have been surveyed and costs estimated, skilled and qualified volunteers identified. We hope to start the work late August beginning September.

We have obtained quotes from heavy plant hire companies and for stone material for paths and are in the process of selecting the best value for money options.

We have contacted Constantine Parish Council and subject to submitting plans with quotes, they would be willing to consider allocating some money towards repairing the footpaths.

We have spoken to Councillor John Bastin, who also is willing to look at giving us a grant.

Swings – a single strand of blue rope left from the lower swing over the river, and a section of tree it was tied to, was found to be rotten and has been removed. Whilst the other swing was being discussed with insurer, the swing was cut off by person or persons unknown to us.

Agreeing the exact boundary between the village woods and other landowner has been discussed and a site meeting will shortly be arranged.

We are investigating durable signage at the 4 entrances to the woods. We hope to be able to mount this on granite boulders, so can be clearly seen, but will blend into the woods.

Registration for VAT is being investigated, so that we can claim back VAT on materials used making good the paths. This will also mean that we need an income and propose selling any felled wood not used in the woods to initially create an income.

We are in the process of completing grant applications to help with the cost of the restoration work and also to look at the small bit of very muddy path (usually for ¾’s of the year) alongside Comfort House with a view to making it good. We have contacted the land owner and have written permission for this work to be carried out. This land owner has also given permission to cut back the vegetation on the permissive path alongside Stack. This is work that could be done by some of you using materials not purchased from gifted funds, as these can only be used in the gifted area. Once we have money in place we will be asking for volunteers.

What’s Next:

Do any of you lovely volunteers have current First Aiders certificates? If so could you let us know.

Would any of you be willing to act as live ‘traffic light”. wardens during the reinstating of the paths? Someone in front and behind (at a safe distance) to warn walkers of the work and redirecting where possible and making sure the driver is aware of people wishing to get around the digger/roller excavation work. We will provide High Viz jackets.

Who would like to volunteer for work on the 100 metres of path that gets very muddy by Comfort Wartha? Probably wheel barrowing aggregate into excavated pathway to form path, you would need your own wheel barrow and shovel. Would anyone like to project manage this operation?

Do any of you have experience working a Wacker Plate for tamping down the aggregate?

Could all those very kind people who volunteered to donate money, please let us have it now, so that we have enough funds to order materials for the restoration work. Please make cheques payable to Constantine Enterprise Company, and mark the envelopes for ‘Woods Project’ so that it goes into the right coffers. Many thanks for your generosity. If you pay income tax we could get gift aid on any money you donate, this is 25p for every pound donated, so could be a significant amount of money, that can be claimed back. Please ask for a Gift Aid form. Your donations can be given to any one of us on the team or in an envelope addressed to the Woods Management Team at the Tolmen Centre.

Liz Pearce

Bosahan Woods Management Team – Liz and Alan Pearce, Adrian Roberts and Chris Hussey