September is the first anniversary of the charity Forest Harvest. Although the wood itself is 30 years old; officially it was only one year old on 1st September.
This year has seen the site at Woodmill converted from an overgrown shabby bit of scrubland to a beautiful wood with a Visitor’s Centre, clear paths for visitors to enjoy the different areas of perennial planting, a shelter for teas and refreshments and a working earth closet and reed bed.
Thanks to all the volunteers who have made this happen; Judith, Rose, Tony, Helen and of course Tom & Eric with their lifesaving tractor & digger which enabled us to create the pond, the more accessible drive and the new clearing .
All the objectives set out for the first year of the charity were met at Woodmill; with open days to the public, workshops on sustainable crafts, fascinating discussions and beautiful meals.
The charity also succeeded in developing some ‘outreach work’ with talks to other organisations such as the WI and Low Carbon Lichfield, involvement with scouts and we also took a stand at the Lichfield Fuse Festival where there were thousands of visitors.
To further the Forest Harvest objectives, we also became involved in a Lichfield group wishing to convert a disused allotment site into a community asset. Forest Harvest attended the first meeting and was able to help with recommendations for permanent planting and wildlife habitats. Being near built up areas of mixed housing the site will make a great Centre for running workshops on horticulture and other crafts.
Very Exciting news in September was that Lichfield received a gold for the RHS City in Bloom.
The work making the Hugelkulture beds under the welcome signs and encouraging meadow planting played an important part. More involvement is planned for 2018.
There are now a number of people visiting us as a consequence of our entry in the National Forest leaflet and an application was made to the National Forest, for inclusion in the 2018 leaflet.
Another successful natural dyeing workshop in September, brought more visitors to Woodmill.
The bees had to be fed some sugar solution but they worked hard themselves collecting nectar and pollen from the bumper harvest of ivy flowers this autumn. Ivy honey isn’t to everyone’s taste having a slightly bitter flavour, which is lucky because the bees will need it to go through the winter.
For humans the buttercup honey from the Spring is exceptionally good…. Cup of tea & toast calls!