March 2023 Marlpit update
During the winter months, trustees and volunteers have been busy on a variety of activities to prepare for the official opening on 3 June.
11 Jan – tree management activity.
04 Feb – step installation day 1.
11 Feb – step installation day 2.
18 Feb – preparing the new silver birch location.
22 Feb – hosting school children from Ashill primary school.
25 Feb – step completion & path clearance.
04 Mar – bench installation & general tidy.
11 Mar – preparation for tree planting ceremony.
Installation of steps to top footpath
Linking the lower-level footpaths to the top footpath required the installation of steps. In keeping with the woodland, we wanted the style to be sympathetic to their surroundings, whilst ensuring they complied with safety recommendations. A design was prepared, materials purchased, and three workdays were scheduled to complete the installation.
Working with volunteers
The success of this project lies entirely on the enthusiastic commitment and hard graft provided freely by a small team of local residents. Since January 2021, over 1,300 volunteer hours have been recorded in transforming this former dumping ground to a community woodland that will provide joy to residents of all ages for years to come. Based upon the national minimum wage (£8.91 2021/22, £9.50 2022/23) the recorded volunteer hours equate to an economic value of £12,575. The social return on volunteering provides far-reaching benefits such as personal and social well-being, skills development and local friendships, personal reliance and emotional connection with place.
Tree planting event
As a contribution to The Queen’s Green Canaopy Necton Parish Council purchased three silver birch trees to be planted adjacent to the pond area. The silver birch trees were purchased in January and two were planted early March, once the area was prepared. Norfolk County Councillor, Mark Kiddle-Morris marked this special occasion by planting the final tree. Our local community correspondant, Paul Young, recorded voices from this event and you can listen now at Necton Voices.
We were blessed with fine sunshine and residents who attended the event were provided with a guided tour and an update on progress since our previous open day in 2022.
Getting ready for opening to the public
2023 is the year that this community woodland will be open for local resident enjoyment. Trustees of NAT and Members of Necton Parish Council formed a working group in January to prepare and plan the journey to open day, scheduled to be Saturday, 3 June 2023.
Following some public consultation during 2022, the Parish Council resolved to rename the site in honour of the late Queen. Whilst the marlpit might live on as a local name, the woodland will be officially christened as the Queen Elizabeth Memorial Wood.