Nature reserve group needs a helping hand to plant saplings

Volunteers help the Alkincoats Park Nature Reserve group plant saplings as part of its extension (s)
Volunteers help the Alkincoats Park Nature Reserve group plant saplings as part of its extension (s)

A Colne woodland team is looking for volunteers to help cut the sod for a next phase of planting next week.

The call for green fingered helpers comes as the Alkincoats Woodland Nature Reserve volunteer group has been successful in winning a £500 grant from the Skipton Building Society’s Grassroots Giving 2016 initiative.

In September, the group discovered it had made the shortlist, and on the winning certificate which came through this week the team were congratulated by the society’s chief executive who said “your group’s contribution to your local community has been recognised by both Skipton Building Society and the voting public. We have been inspired by your work and highly commend everyone involved.”

The Alkincoats team has also received another 500 saplings from the Woodland Trust as it continues to develop the existing eight hectares with a further 2.31 hectares.

Another planting is planned on Wednesday and the group is meeting at the Colne and Nelson Rugby Club Car Park in Harrison Drive (BB8 9RR) at 10am.

Alkincoats Woodland Nature Reserve Volunteer Group’s Deputy Chairman, Dave McQuillan, said the group needed volunteers to continue to grow and improve the environment for future generations from its roots 12 years ago.

He said: “We are one of the 163 candidates out of 750 nationwide to receive one of the pots of funding of which will help fund the new extension and footpaths and buying trees.

“It’s really good news. We have been successful in winning the award in a very tough contest countrywide, which will give the Alkincoats Woodland Team a financial boost of £500 towards our limited funds to improve the woodland further by planting more mature trees next spring.

“We postponed the planting from Wednesday because of the forecast for snow but we are going ahead next week with winter coming and now need more volunteers. The more people who help the quicker we get it done.

“We’re only asking for a couple of hours and there will be tea and biscuits. A lot of people care about trees. We’ve got over 1,000 now and in another 10 years it will look great and they will make really nice trees.

“Further development planned and it’s an ongoing thing. We have some stunning wildlife up there too.

“I also wanted to add a few words of thanks and that is to LBS for the polythene which will protect the trees.

“Pendle Borough Council’s Parks department, led by Lee Johnson and his internal team, the Good Life team and the Environment Action Group, led by team Leader Rob, have all been brilliant.

“They have fully re-instated 400 yards of dry stone walling and installed gates and put in 125 yards of stock fencing twice.

“It has improved boundary control which is fundamental as we border existing grazing meadows owned by Pendle Council which was formally Great House Farm in Red Lane.”

If you would like to contact Dave, email david.mcquillan2@ntlworld.com or call 07756 988007.