NEWS

The 2017 agm will be held on the 25th July 2017 at Otterbourne Village Hall at 19.00, copies of the agenda and papers are available on the download page.

2017 Summer Fundraising

We have just launched a local fund raising appeal to members of the public for essential tree work.

In order to keep these copses as an open community resource, we need to ensure that they are as safe to use as possible. This entails from time to time examining the trees to flag up when any tree surgery is required. Tree surgery costs serious money despite the tree surgeons sometimes doing work for less than they might otherwise charge bearing in mind our charity status.

Following work recently to clear climbers and other vegetation to enable inspection of the trees, we found that a substantial amount of professional work is necessary. We have quotes for around £7,000. We are going ahead with the work that is considered to be urgent but there is some preventative work that also needs to be done. If we are unable to do this work, we may have to deny access to the public to parts of the wood for safety reasons at some point in the not too distant future.

We need more funds in order to complete this work and therefore we are asking people who enjoy the copses to make donations for this purpose. We are applying for grants to help but we have to match them. If you wish to continue enjoying the copses, now is the time to chip in and help us. We have gift aid which increases the value of your donation by at least 25%. To donate, please use the forms on the download page or contact Wendy Doherty on 01962 714786 leaving your contact details, or mikesouthgate58@gmail.com and we will get back to you.

Please use these wood but we would appreciate any help you can offer either time, funding or both. All donations either one off or regular standing orders can be ‘gift aided’ to give us extra benefits.

Working parties meet on the first Sunday of the month (with the odd exception) at 10.30 am, at the gate in Sparrowgrove Road near Richmond Close ending by 1pm. If you want to join please let us know or just turn up! Many thanks to all of you who join these monthly working parties.

A polite plea to our neighbours please do not deposit garden waste, grass cuttings etc. in our woods, its bad for the habitat can attract rodents, and may encourage fly tipping.

Background

Sparrowgrove and Oakwood Copse Conservation Trust (SOCCT) is a Charitable Trust set up in 2009. It purpose was to purchase these 33 acres of natural woodland across two close sites and then to manage them for continued conservation, recreation and education for local residents. It was, and continues to be, funded by local donations assisted by the two local Parish Councils and the HMRC Gift Aid scheme. It is managed by local trustees assisted by local volunteers.

If you wish to become a member, there is no fee, just a commitment to a £5 winding up fee in the unlikely event that the company was ever wound up. Joining the membership group allows you the opportunity to influence the running of the woods, appointment of trustees etc.

The latest accounts, blank membership, donation and standing order forms, a summary woodland management plan, newsletters, can all be found on the downloads page.