Those of us amongst the Tarvin population who have been around a while can remember a time before the A51 bypass; when huge lorries came through the village and the bollard opposite the pubs and chip shop was in a permanent state of demolition! Building the bypass made a huge difference to the centre of the village. But there was a wonderful by-product – the abandoned part-fields, no longer of use for agriculture and not required by the Highways Agency, were gradually turned into what is now Tarvin Community Woodland.
The time-span may be only 30 years or so, but, to many of the folk who now use the woodland, the trees and pathway appear to have been there for ever. There has been no evidence of the vision, the persistence and the sheer hard work which has brought the woodland to the state in which it exists today. Neither was there any suggestion that the woodland exists as it is thanks to the continuing efforts of a group of volunteers – who will welcome all the extra help that they can get!
Having visited many similar sites, it seemed to Trustees that the best way to let people know about the development of the woodland would be to tell them by means of notice boards. Thanks to Becky Hayes of Colenso Screen Services, the amateur efforts of the Trustees to put the signs together were turned into thoroughly professional designs ready to go on display. The principal barrier to installing them in the woodland was the cost.
Into the scene stepped the George Heath Foundation. The aims of the Foundation and the Trust are broadly similar and so the Foundation was able to make a substantial grant towards their production costs. The final result is the information boards installed alongside the path in the woodland – one at Hockenhull Lane and the other at Broomheath Lane. The Hockenhull Lane board sets out where the woodland has come from and the Broomheath Lane board talks about where we are and where we hope to go. The tale is by no means complete but anyone who wants to find out more is welcome to talk to the Trustees or to visit the Trust's website
The boards were unveiled on the morning of Saturday 18th November by Gaynor Heath of the George Heath Foundation.
George Heath was a 20 year old Tarvin man who died in a tragic road accident.
He has not been forgotten and, to celebrate his memory, a Charitable Foundation has been created to provide aid to those local individuals and organisations operating in Tarvin and the surrounding villages, which seek to promote community cohesion, citizenship, health, physical and emotional well-being, the advancement of amateur sport and the educational needs of the wider community.