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Working together to ensure Sittingbourne's woodland can be enjoyed by all - 01/03/2018

Working together to ensure Sittingbourne's woodland  can be enjoyed by all

On the 12th April 2017, The Eco Shed teamed up with Kent Wildlife Trust and the Wooden It Be Crafty project to carry out an access assessment for their Forest in Cromers Corner, Sittingbourne. 

Project Manager at Kent Wildlife Trust, Martin Keelor explains:“Wooden it Be Crafty is a three year Heritage Lottery funded project with the aim of reconnecting people from the local area with this little known but important reserve, highlighting our shared woodland heritage and traditional woodland skills.”

Members from Eco Shed and Skillnet's Swale Schools Project walked through the forest and gave advice on what could be improved to ensure that everyone can enjoy the woodland. [pictured above] The group wanted to make sure that pathways are wide enough and clearly defined from the borders to make them safe and usable for people using wheelchairs, pushing buggies or using other mobility aids, and for people with visual impairments.

The group also looked at the ratio of slopes on the site and advised on where landings would need to be so that the site can be used by wheelchair users.

Using the assessment report, Kent Wildlife Trust applied for and was successful in being awarded funding from Suez Communities Trust to improve the accessibility of the site which includes improving the access track, creating an accessible trail, interpretation, a viewing platform, providing picnic and resting benches. The work will be carried out this year.

Continuing the partnership working, Kent Wildlife Trust commissioned the Eco Shed to make a "Cromer’s Wood" sign for the entrance to the site. Eco Shed is making this by hand using coppiced wood from the reserve. Garry Edwards is leading on carving the letters for the sign. Garry's aim within the project is to set up his own business, taking on commissions and hand-making unique, handcrafted wooden items for customers.    Eco Shed Project Lead,Terie says "Garry has put so much time into carving the letters and the butterfly logo on the sign.  His progression goals are to take on his own commissions.  Having his talent recognised and seen by those who visit the Wood is a great step in raising his profile."

On March 15th, to celebrate the improvements to Cromer’s Wood, Kent Wildlife Trust has invited members of the Eco Shed for a day of coppicing skills and outdoor cooking at the reserve with the Wooden it Be Crafty team. The day also sees the reveal of the new sign.

Tel: 01227 374 285

Skillnet Group CIC
Unit 3, Roper Yard, Roper Road
Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7ER.

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