Councillor helps woodland appeal

Wednesday 22nd April 2015

James Hitchcock & Cllr Paul Tuthill in Blackhouse WoodJames Hitchcock & Cllr Paul Tuthill in Blackhouse Wood

A Worcestershire County Council and Malvern Link Councillor has thrown his support behind a charity’s bid to save a local woodland.

View to Malverns from Blackhouse Wood (c) Paul LaneCouncillor Paul Tuthill has generously allocated £1800 of his Divisional Councillors Fund to Worcestershire Wildlife Trust’s appeal to purchase Blackhouse Wood. The 38.5 hectare woodland is part of the Suckley ridge near Alfrick and has the potential to be one of the most valuable blocks of woodland for wildlife in the county.

Councillor Tuthill, of Lower Howsell Road, Malvern Link, explained “The nearby Knapp and Papermill nature reserve is also in the Link Division and is very well used and regarded. Acquiring this woodland would also be of benefit not only to local people but also to visitors to the area.”

Back to Life fundraising appeal

A major fundraising appeal to buy the wood was launched in February and the Trust has already raised more than £84,000 in individual donations from their own members and the public. They are also seeking funds from a number of grant-awarding bodies.

Path through Blackhouse Wood (c) Paul LaneHistorically the wood has been subject to small-scale quarrying and forestry plantation. The current owner has made a start on the long process of restoration but the woodland now needs a new owner that is able to secure its future as a woodland rich in wildlife.

Kate Thomas, Head of Resources for the Trust, added “We’re delighted that Councillor Tuthill has chosen to donate some of his Divisional Councillor’s Fund to our appeal.

“We’ve had a fantastic response to our appeal so far – demonstrating just how passionate people are about saving our beautiful countryside. The actual cost of the woodland was £400,000 but we have already been able to pay half of this cost by dedicating a collection of gifts left to us in wills.

“We negotiated with the owner to allow us time to raise the remaining £200,000 and we’re already nearly halfway to achieving that target.

“The appeal is still open for individual donations and we’re also working with a number of organisations to secure a number of funding grants.”

Blackhouse Wood is adjacent to the Trust’s Crews Hill nature reserve and within the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Trust intends to replace most of the non-native trees with oaks and field maples and will coppice old hornbeam and veteran lime stools. Dormice boxes will be installed and pathways and glades will be widened and created to ensure that enough light can reach the woodland floor to encourage the plants that support butterflies, bees and other insects.

To further information or to donate visit the Back to Life appeal page or call 01905 754919.

Tagged with: Fundraising, Back to Life appeal, Blackhouse Wood