Leamington’s first community woodland - which was built by volunteers - will from today (Wednesday) officially belong to the people of Warwick district.
ARC CIC, the community interest company that set up Foundry Wood - which sits on land owned by Trilogy development group on the former Ford Foundry site, handed over the management of the wood to the Friends of Foundry Wood earlier this year. Now the company is able to sign the lease on behalf of the community.
Kristie Naimo, of ARC CIC and the Foundry Wood steering group, said: “As part of the planning consent, there was a requirement for Trilogy to give something back to the community, and this piece of land is what the company has given.
“It’s fantastic. It’s an asset to the district and to the community.
“We have engaged the community, made the site accessible and made it into a community woodland space for wildlife conservation and education.”
She added: “Schools and Scouts and Guides groups are coming forward more and more to use the site, which is exactly what we wanted.”
Volunteers have been working on transforming the derelict space into a woodland since March last year, with planting, weed clearing and other projects carried on throughout the year. The site has been made accessible by volunteers who created paths and they have built a compost toilet, outdoor classroom and a pond.
The lease will be formally handed over today (Wednesday).
Anyone interested in getting involved with the Friends or steering group can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Events at Foundry Wood are ongoing. Tomorrow night (Saturday), short films will be screened from 7pm, while on Sunday there will be an earth oven-making workshop. For details and to book places on the workshop, visit www.foundrywood.co.uk