Update - 4th March 2021
If you go down to the woods today you're sure of a big surprise .....
I am pleased to announce that work has started on our Salts Wood planting phase. We have started in the north section by installing support sticks for the 20,000 trees and have also begun planting tree saplings along with their protection tubes. Over the next few weeks, all planting will be completed, benches and notice boards installed and finally, construction of the hard track and entrance kissing gate.
Watch this space for further progress and if you do walk this way regularly it would be much appreciated if you could straighten any 'wonky' tree supports you come across.
We look forward to keeping you informed.
Cllr Andy Humphryes
Update - 1st February 2021
In these uncertain times, finally a small piece of good news.
On the 25th January we received the go ahead from the Forestry Commission to start work on Salts Wood. It has been a long and arduous journey, but all very worth while and something that everyone will be able to take advantage of and enjoy for many years to come.
We have now awarded the main contract to Sovereign Forestry to supply, plant and protect the 20,000 trees of 14 varying species, all native, ranging from oak to wild cherry. The site work will start, weather permitting, in mid-February. The intention is to give the existing barley growth a cut in preparation for the tree planting. In parallel, our construction contractor will start preparing for a 2 metre wide hard surfaced track running from Hubbards Lane to Salts Avenue; suitable for buggies, wheelchairs and disability scooters. This track will branch off to a seated picnic area and further seated picnic areas will be available throughout the wood. The information board below gives further details.
I hope everyone will support what we are planning and bear with us through the construction phase of the project. If all goes well this could be the first of many green projects planned for our parish.
Exciting times for us all, our children and our grandchildren.
Cllr Andy Humphryes
Our Salts Wood BMAT land off Hubbards Lane will be transformed from arable farm land to our very own wood for all to use and is currently progressing through the various stages of approval.
We are progressing well and continue to aim for a 2020/2021 planting season. This will very much be dictated by tree sapling availability, planting contractor availability and how quickly we get our grant applications approved. Both the Carbon Capture Grant application and the Woodland Creation Planning Grant are completed and submitted, awaiting approval. I must add we are not allowed to perform any work, even pre-work on the site prior to receiving our grant approval.
We have submitted ‘invitations to tender’ to another six forestry planting companies. The response has been very positive and we are in the process of answering any clarification questions.
As you may have noticed, we have now cut, baled and removed the old barley crop and this will be used for cattle feed within the parish and, if required, will be cut again prior to planting our saplings.
As soon as we have our grants approved, the next stage will be to place a contract with the preferred planting contractor, mark out the tracks, paths and open spaces. The contractor will mark out the position of the rows to ensure the trees are the approved distance apart. We are hoping to get approval from KCC to install a 2 metre wide hard surface footpath from Hubbards Lane to Salts Avenue, suitable for wheelchairs, invalid carriages and baby buggies. We are also planning some rural benches in our open spaces.
I am extremely pleased with the progress that has been made over the last 3 months considering the Covid-19 situation we are in, which I am sure you can appreciate is slowing approval of everything at the moment.
After all this lovely weather we have seen over the last 3 months I am sorry to say I am hoping for a much wetter Autumn to ensure all our new trees get a good start in life.
I hope you are all as excited as we are in BMAT at the prospect of our very own Salts Wood.
Cllr Andy Humphryes
The following flyer was sent to neighbouring residents, July 2020 :
Green area is woodland which will be a variety of all native English deciduous trees.
Yellow area is open ground / grassland to ensure that when the trees grow there will still be ample light.
Black lines are proposed footways / cycleways. The path from Hubbards Lane to Salts Avenue will be the only mobility route with the exception of the branch off to one of the picnic areas that will have seating. We would like to be able to make all paths wheelchair/buggy friendly but the cost prohibits this.
The straight white strip is existing woodland. This will be retained and will merge with the new over time.
Existing hedges and trees at the edges of the field will remain.
Numbers denote sizes of each of the pieces of land in hectares.
Further detail will be provided as the project moves forward.