We have worked hard over the past 6 years in stabilising the woods, cleansing them of litter, creating coppiced glades, planting wildlife enhancing plants, reducing fires and vandalism, beating the bracken, placing nest boxes and building brash piles. Entirely made possible with the help of like minded volunteers.
So far so good.
Now it's time to shift up a gear and really make the difference.
One of our quiet successes has been the creation of a small pond, hidden under a butterfly bush in a seldom visited area, surrounded by a guard of brambles. We visit it no more often than once every couple of months and for the last two years it is clear that no one else has has disturbed it. Badger and fox tracks reveal their presence and birds abound in the area feeding on the insects and enjoying the cool peace that the little pond provides.
For the Wildlife and For Us.
We would like to upscale the water feature within the woods by creating a larger pond with reeds and wildlife friendly planting. The new habitat will allow new species to survive which will interplay with the existing ecology, creating a richer, more diverse and stronger system. Such systems evolve to be more resilient and more able to cope with environmental change.
We hope that increased bird and wildlife sightings will promote a feeling of well being and pride in the local community.
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) aim to reduce the strain on our current water treatment infrastructure and create a more natural solution to localised flooding. At present, water running off the roads above the woods is channelled through underground clay pipes and discharges into an open culvert before joining the main sewer system. All of this water would have originally seeped into the hills of the woods and been absorbed into the water table.
Our project will reclaim this run-off water and direct it through cleansing reed beds, into a wildlife pond and from there, irrigate the woods.
A small, but managed water flow will be required to keep the system healthy and sustainable. Our project will achieve this by using renewable energy to pump the flow.
We will use a mix of technologies to complement each other and act as a showcase for future innovation. Surplus generating power will be used to lift water to a retaining tank, from where it can be released later to recover that power, acting as an efficient natural battery. The electricity will also power wifi-connected wildlife video cameras within the woods that will stream their images online providing interest and education to all.
For You and Me.
As a wildlife sanctuary, we cannot permit unrestrained public access. In such a small site as ours, experience has taught us that the two are mutually exclusive. However, the mindful solitude that can be gained by walking alone in a peaceful woodland has known therapeutic benefits. Understanding this, we will make the woods accessible in this way, providing footpaths, signage and seating for those of us who may benefit.
We are very fortunate to have gained the interest of Professor Sean Comber, Professor of Environmental Chemistry Associate Head of School (Knowledge Exchange) at The University of Plymouth. Professor Comber has recognised the opportunity that our project presents to graduate students (studying in a variety of fields) as material for their research projects. We welcome their input and are very grateful for this win-win situation.
We are further supported by REDS Group (environmental consultants) who have offered their vast experience and technical knowledge to ensure our project works effectively.
About the Money
Until now the Tulgey Woods project was owned and funded by husband and wife, Sid and Sam Remmer. The next stage requires more resources than they can bring to bear and so the project has been given over to a Community Interest Company (CIC) in the hope that grants and kind donations may allow the project to succeed.
As a CIC, we have an asset lock in place meaning that all assets or funds raised must go towards the project and cannot be taken as profit by the directors. Furthermore, should the CIC close or fail, then all remaining assets must be donated to a similar, charitable project and again, cannot be kept by the directors. We have done this so you can be safe in the knowledge that 100% of any donation you may make will be wisely and properly spent and the benefit will match your intentions.
Our directors are well known in the community and bring knowledge, vision, experience and integrity.