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Supporting Tarvin Community Woodland Trust

14th January 2024 @ 6:06am – by Charles Bradley, Tarvin Community Woodland Trust
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In how many different ways can one be involved with Tarvin Community Woodland Trust?

Until recently, the need to ask – and then try to answer – a question like that had never occurred to me. The woodland is very much an asset for the whole community and so, in a very real sense, anyone who makes use of the woodland is very much involved with it. However, that involvement, in many cases, does not include any contribution to the organisation or upkeep of the woodland and so is probably of much the same order as one's involvement with Tarvin village as a whole. Those people who would like their involvement to be greater than this can contribute in one (or more) of four different ways – as volunteers, as Friends of Tarvin Woodland, as Members of Tarvin Community Woodland Trust Ltd or as Trustees of the Trust.


The basic (and, arguably, the most important) level of "involvement" in the woodland is that of "Volunteer". Our volunteers are the people who, on a regular or intermittent basis, put in their time and effort for the maintenance and upkeep of the woodland. Most of them are a part of one of the two groups – the Thursday volunteers, who deal with all of the routine work in the woodland or the Weekend Group, often meeting on Saturday mornings and principally concerned with the Saxon Heath woodland section and its wildflowers. During the first 11 months of 2023, the two groups have invested well over 1,100 hours of work on behalf of the Trust, which, at minimum wage, would have cost far more than £8,000 to provide! Anyone can become a volunteer – just have a word with one of the Trustees to find out how. There is no cost involved, no minimum commitment, necessary tools and safety wear are on hand for use and the friendliness and bonhomie within the groups is enormously enjoyable.

Friends of Tarvin Woodland

The most recently innovated group is that of those who are described as the "Friends of Tarvin Woodland". These are people who recognise that running a woodland such as ours is quite an expensive business and so they are prepared to put their hands into their pockets and make regular payments into the Trust's bank account. Payments may be small or large and are often made monthly. Knowing that the Trust has a steady income stream is a great reassurance to our Treasurer! Standing Order forms are available on the Trust's website: www.tarvincommunitywoodland.org or from our Treasurer, John Daines.

Members of Tarvin Community Woodland Trust Ltd

Because the Trust is now a "Company Limited by Guarantee", we must now also have "Members of Tarvin Community Woodland Trust, Ltd." These are people who have the task of ensuring that the Trustees are running the woodland as they should and the members are all folk who have clearly, in one way or another, demonstrated that they have the long-term future of the woodland at heart. Their only commitments are to attend at least one meeting a year (if they can), and to guarantee that they will supply up to £10 of their own money to help defray any debts, should the Trust go bankrupt! (We are well away from such an eventuality, have no fear!) Membership involves no cost.

In certain circumstances, they can instruct the Trustees what they must do, and the membership also provides a vital means of defence against the possibility of our woodland being lost to the village.


From amongst those people who are the members of the Trust, a Board of Management – the Directors of the Limited Company (whom we refer to as the Trustees) is chosen. These are the group of people who, on behalf of the Trust (and the whole village), are responsible for the day-to-day running and development of the woodland. As for all Limited Companies, their details are readily available from Companies' House.

Each Trustee serves for a term of four years, although it is perfectly possible for folk to serve for subsequent terms, should they be invited to do so. Indeed, four of the current Trustees were a part of the original group of Trustees set up by Jim Grogan and the Parish Council in 2008! Being a Trustee involves no financial cost, although the commitment in terms of time and effort can be very considerable. The principal qualification for being a Trustee is an unshakable dedication to the woodland and its future success, although each Trustee brings to the group their own set of aptitudes and abilities, which they then employ on behalf of the woodland.

No work is permitted in the woodland without the express agreement of the Trustees and with at least one of the Trustees being present (other than for work which is being undertaken by employed contractors). Ownership of the land (on behalf of our village and community) is vested in the Board of Trustees and all final decisions rest with them. The exception to this is the business of access to the woodland. The major pathways have all been designated as Public Footpaths and so the Trustees could not deny anyone access to the woodland, even if they wanted to do so – which they certainly don't! All of the rest of the woodland area (with the specific exception of the fenced-off "Wilding Area") is the subject of Permissive Access and so folk who will treat it with respect are welcome to use it. It would theoretically be possible for this access to be withdrawn but the likelihood of this happening to our Community Woodland is remote in the extreme!

Everyone in our community is welcome to become involved at any (or all) of these levels. However, access to Membership and Trusteeship will be dependent upon a previously demonstrated commitment to the woodland and, thus far, the most usual way of doing this has been by means of someone joining our volunteers.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Trust and the way that it works, you could make contact with one of the Trustees (Directors). In December 2023, they are:

JOHN SIM – 01829 741922

PETER MAIDEN – 01829 741078

JOHN DAINES – 01829 740831

CHARLES BRADLEY – 01829 741172


You can also make contact via email to: info@tarvincommunitywoodland.org.

Charles Bradley
Director and Secretary
Tarvin Community Woodland Trust, Ltd

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