Thank you so much for all the support that keeps coming in for our Woodland Wellbeing project at Bramblewood.
Please forgive this long update, if you are interested do read on, if not, please accept our gratitude, and we hope that one of our next updates will be in celebration for reaching our final goal - not far now!!
Local Support for the project:
Over the last week we received really some wonderful support and encouragement for Bramblewood and our current project from local City and County Councillors.
Cllr Joy Squires, for the Arboretum Ward:
"Over the past two years, Bramblewood has become a much loved and cherished part of the local community I represent as a city councillor. A tangle of brambles in the middle of an allotment site has been transformed into a forest school and area of natural beauty, peace and tranquility, welcoming young and old to enjoy the wonders of nature. It has been an inspiring journey.
The need for projects like Bramblewood has become particularly clear during these past months of Covid-related lockdown and restrictions. Bramblewood offers the chance to experience the benefits of a natural woodland environment just a short step from home, providing a safe haven for those struggling to cope or simply in need of a complete change in routine.
The beauty of Bramblewood is that it is there and potentially available all year round. There is, though, a need for more shelter so that woodland crafts can continue in all weathers and a smokeless stove for warmth and refreshment. Additional tools and training will provide staff with everything they need to create a ‘wellbeing woodland’ within Bramblewood, for adults and children.
Bramblewood’s relationship to the nearby canal, neighbouring allotments and its role in promoting biodiversity cannot be understated. Wildlife in all its forms is protected and nurtured in Bramblewood to the wider benefit of many species, including badgers, bats and slow worms. The canal ‘corridor’ offers significant potential for a range of projects to enhance biodiversity, as witnessed by the recent biodiversity study carried out by Natural Networks. Bramblewood is a key partner in this.
Overall Bramblewood is a successful project, well embedded in the local community and able to contribute fully to improving the health and wellbeing of all those who take advantage of what it has to offer."
Cllr Tom Collins, for Rainbow Hill ward says:
"Bramblewood sits just over the border of Rainbow Hill city ward, which I represent. I have also been fortunate enough to see the project develop first-hand as my children have attended groups there since its inception.
The project is led with passion and professionalism, and seems a very timely and apt initiative for Worcester and our current challenges. The project plugs in to a strong sense emerging in our communities that we need to reconnect with nature. Located remarkably close to the city centre, it provides an oasis of wilderness in easy reach of our urban population.
I have seen first-hand evidence of children connecting with nature, one-another, and the simple value in imagining and creating something with their own hands from resources provided by nature. The benefits available to children in confidence-building, social connection and overall emotional wellbeing are clear.
Bramblewood aims to use this funding to make the woodland facilities more resilient and sustainable - an excellent step towards increasing their benefit and impact. Importantly, they aim to train staff to extend their work to support adults as well as children. Social Prescribing has had a successful introduction in Worcester, but I believe it has the potential to do a lot more to tackle our deepening social crises in mental health and social isolation. Bramblewood offers an effective and impactful approach to addressing these needs, at a time when environment, sustainability, green spaces and biodiversity are moving to the heart of our values and priorities. I would certainly love to see Bramblewood enabled to reach the lives of many residents in Rainbow Hill ward who would benefit unmeasurably from time and space exploring their creativity in nature on their doorstep.
Bramblewood is a locally-grown project, using our local community assets to serve those most in need with professionalism and authenticity. I am very happy to commend this project to you for funding."
Cllr Matt Jenkins for St Stephen's ward also offers his support to the project:
"Many people in Worcester, especially children, have little interaction with nature. As a councillor representing built-up areas such as the Arboretum, having a facility like this on their doorstop is a great boost, both to their wellbeing and to their understanding and appreciation of nature. The huge problems we face in the coming years, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, need to be better understood in order for them to be tackled. Involving younger people, especially, in the type of activities carried out by the Bramblewood Project will help them feel closer to and more appreciative of the natural environment, and thus better equipped to ensure the environment is protected over the coming years. This is a great project that involves the local community and provides them with numerous benefits, such as community cohesion, wellbeing, and the opportunity to learn useful skills."
We are so grateful that our vision is shared by so many people. Thank you for your continuing support and if you think you may know someone who would like to know about our plans and follow, or even support, our progress, do please share our project page with them. Thank you!