Old School Wood Sign

Chairman: David Taylor 01787 373541

Vice Chairman: Chris Francis 07834 602553

Membership Secretary and Treasurer: Philip Howlett 07768 203483 

Annual membership £5

Adopt a plot scheme £25, includes 1 year’s annual membership:


Branchlines is a group of volunteers who look after Old School Wood, which is the village wood near the church. We formed in 2001 with the help of Green Light Trust and with the aim of establishing a community woodland. We raised money from grants and donations and eventually managed to buy 3 acres of farmland in 2008. Over a thousand trees were planted by volunteers from the village in the following 2 years. In 2018 we bought more land; 2 acres of established woodland and 1 acre of rough grassland. All the land is in the ownership of the Parish Council and is located near the church on The Street, CO10 0TJ.

We are a charitable group with a constitution and a membership. We rely on donations, grants and fundraising. We hold open days at the wood and an annual quiz. There is a volunteer working party on the 4th Saturday morning of each month except August and December. The wood also has a forest school area. We use traditional woodland skills such as coppicing and dead-hedging. New volunteers are welcome; tools and training are provided and we have insurance.

Our vision for the wood is a place where wildlife can thrive, local people can relax, and those who wish can learn more about woodlands. A wildflower meadow, ponds and an orchard add to the interest and biodiversity. An area has been set aside and is in use as a forest school; one group is run by the village primary school for their classes and another by ‘Amy Acorn’ for younger local children. Just a note to say that Old School Wood is not a park, there is no car park or play equipment or toilets. We do have seating, mown paths and bins for litter and dog litter.

Membership entitles you to vote at our AGM and to receive newsletters. It is a valuable source of regular income for maintaining and developing Old School Wood. Money is needed for future projects such as information boards and signs, improved access, a new pond area and seating. Please contact Philip Howlett.

Adopt a Plot scheme is another way you can contribute. Now that we have the new land and areas have been named, we have been able to consolidate our ‘Adopt a Plot’ scheme. You make a donation of £25 and receive a certificate acknowledging your gift and showing the position of your chosen plot. Included is membership of Branchlines for 1 year. For the purposes of this scheme, the wood can be considered as 200 plots of approximately 10 x 10 metres (You will not own the plot or be entitled to manage it). Some people have adopted plots in memory of a deceased relative or friend. There were 117 plots in the original 3 acre wood and to date, nearly half are sold. Plots are now also available in the new areas too. For further details please contact Brian Rose on 01787 376499 or Philip Howlett.