At this time of year it can be incredibly tempting to crawl under the duvet and hibernate until spring. The long dark nights and freezing temperatures aren’t particularly conducive to getting active and getting outdoors!
However, there’s a group of volunteers who are really bringing to life the best, most enjoyable aspects of this season! Nestled deep in the local forests, they work together to revive heritage skills and traditional woodland management techniques – and in the process are conserving and protecting ancient sites for future generations to enjoy.
Formerly a PECT-run project called Woodland Heritage in Action, and now launched as a volunteer-run group called Nene Coppicing and Crafts, this social enterprise is thriving and is a great initiative to be part of.
Meeting regularly for event days and volunteer sessions, the group helps to manage the woodlands (with techniques such as coppicing), teaches traditional crafts such as willow weaving and wood carving, in addition to running walks and talks on wildlife and nature.
The group is aiming to become fully self-sufficient in future years through raising funds from enterprises such as producing charcoal and sustainably sourced firewood, and through selling locally-produced craft items.
In addition to the group’s fantastic impact on the local environment and wildlife, the sessions offer a therapeutic and relaxing environment combined with a social support network of friendly volunteers that is hard to beat!
If you’re intrigued, and want to get involved further, please do head to the website at www.nenecoppicingandcrafts.co.uk or find the group on Facebook (@NeneCoppicingandCrafts) and Twitter (@NeneCoppicing).
Laura Fanthorpe is Marketing and Communications Manager at PECT.