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Bramblewood is a hidden gem, near to Worcester City Centre, at the heart of the densely populated Arboretum and Lansdowne Road areas. Its growing group of stalwart volunteers have nurtured the previously neglected site into a thriving mosaic of wild habitats, and a small forest school site, equipped to offer sessions for 36 children each week. This project will take Bramblewood into its new chapter which is now even more important, mid pandemic. With proper composting loo facilities, a larger shelter over the fire circle and a larger more sturdy, equipped tool shelter, Bramblewood will give Worcester City residents a secure woodland venue for skills and craft tuition, forest school for more children and a wider age group, a local outdoor education venue for schools, and, by skilling 2 leaders up as qualified Wellbeing in Nature Practitioners, will offer social prescriptions and social forestry to adults in need of social and mental health support.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Time spent in nature is good for everyone, and the need for nature in our lives has never been more acutely felt post lockdown. Skilling and tooling up The Bramblewood Project will put this already hardworking and productive little CIC onto a new foundation, providing Worcester with a vibrant local woodland skills and nature connection venue accessible on foot or public transport from across the city. Extending our sheltered area will secure Bramblewood’s future as a forest school, enable it to open to more families, and offer real opportunities to more adults in the city to build on their 5 ways to wellbeing (Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning, and Give) in a safe outdoor setting. By ensuring our sessions are led by qualified Wellbeing in Nature Practitioners, work with adults, as with children at forest school, will be grounded in theory, evidence and experience.
Steps to get it done:
Building a sustainable composting toilet was to have been the keystone volunteer build of the project, mid spring, and we were already garnering significant pledges of time and materials from local people in readiness. When lockdown closed forest school, however, we realised we needed to carry on as much as restrictions would allow, so very gradually over lockdown, with a few solid offers of advice and support and volunteer hours - a nurse and speech therapist learned the theory and skills necessary to built a 'Treebog' with a number of volunteers, bit by bit. The Lockdown Loo was ready to use when we re-opened forest school for the summer holidays. We are currently working on providing warm, foot operated, running water inside the loo for handwashing. See the Tale of the Lockdown Loo video for more details.
About the space
A secret, hidden wood, about half a mile from both Worcester City Stations, in the highly populated Arboretum area of Worcester.
Worcester City Council
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We are absolutely bowled over, head over heels, sky high, over the moon, and yes, really literally dancing in the woods. Thank you for your support (financial, in kind, in words, thoughts, and in time). We are so super keen to get started we are heading to Bramblewood today to start on the foundations for the tool shelter props, and are going to cease crowd funding so that we can get ordering timber, tools and equipment. Watch this space... there is lots in store at Bramblewood. With love and gratitude Sam, Helen, Jon, Graham, Dan and the whole (and growing) Bramblewood Community.
We are really looking forward to a new partnership with the Hereford & Worcestershire Health & Care NHS Trust, NOW Team. This is what Brenda Simmonds, Occupational Therapist for NOW says about it... New Opportunities Worcestershire & Bramblewood Exciting News! New Opportunities Worcestershire are so pleased to be joining forces with The Bramblewood Project to co-deliver some of our courses for Hereford & Worcestershire Health & Care NHS Trust. We have been looking to provide access to outdoor spaces in which to facilitate our courses in health and wellbeing, Lifeskills and general enjoyment of nature for our patients for some time now. It is well evidenced (and we recognise ourselves) the beneficial effect on our mental health and overall wellbeing when we spend time in nature. The current Covid 19 situation has seen an increase in social isolation and mental health symptoms. So having an opportunity to spend time with others outdoors at Bramblewood is even more welcome. Bramblewood offers a unique space to enjoy all the benefits of the outdoors within the city. Making it easily accessible to the people of Worcester yet providing a very special therapeutic and learning experience. Knowledgeable and welcoming staff are the icing on the cake - and we look forward to an enriching and lasting partnership and the sharing of skills and resources to the benefit of all who attend. Watch this - space exciting times!
In readiness for our new tool shelter (see our 'costs' section) Bramblewood volunteers have been digging out and reinstating the old allotment terraces, surrounded by glorious autumn colours from the hazel and ash copse. We are almost done now, just a bit more levelling and woodchip, then we will be ready to build the tool shelter frame. The frame will be a semi-permanent structure of wooden posts and cross beams over which we can rig a tarpaulin should it get really rainy, giving participants the best of both; bright blue winter skies if dry, and shelter from the rain when needed. And in the coldest of days, the portable stove will ensure fingers can keep warm whilst whittling, sawing, weaving, shaving, splitting, and so on... thank you for helping us towards our aims : - )