The woodland and community
We are a community of Ipswich residents who have for generations adored and cherished this unique woodland and the rich diversity of wildlife within it.
It is protected by various policies and legislation and by the local community and this protection has enabled it to become a safe home for many insects and animals some of which are listed as protected species. For example, stag beetles, bats, hedgehogs and toads. It is also home to much adored families of foxes, tawny owls and muntjac deer. The positive effect on our physical and mental health and wellbeing is hard to quantify - but this direct link with nature is intense and very powerful and generations of children have played here. And of course this green lung in central Ipswich is vital to the towns health.
Why do we want to buy it?
The owners of the 1.3 acre woodland has put it up for sale (our deadline 6th December) and we would like to own it to protect it against future development. The community have come together four times over the last fifteen years to object against planning applications, the most recent in 2018. We have registered it as an "Asset of Community Value" however we know that the most effective way to protect it forever is to buy it, and so this is what we are striving to do.
What are our plans for it?
Whilst the overriding priority is to protect and enhance the biodiversity within the woodland, we believe the space to be a significant asset to the local community.
There are various ideas for its future including a pocket park or partnering with local charities to offer a forest school or a sanctuary for those suffering with terminal illnesses or learning disabilities.
We could also undertake archaeological investigations into the Victorian formal gardens remains with the hope that we could reinstate the Victorian swimming pond to enhance wildlife.
These activities will respect the wishes of the local community by being discrete, treading lightly upon the earth and not disturbing wildlife. A byproduct of this project will be the valuable learning opportunity and experience for the community who can come together building social networks and relationships whilst working to achieve a shared goal.
How will we achieve this?
We have the support of a some wonderful and very experienced organisations who are keen to support our activities from creating a woodland management plan through to forest school teacher training. We have set up a Community Interest Company to support our efforts to purchase the woodland and manage the project. We have a dedicated committee and large local community who are eager to help along with cross party support from Ipswich Borough and County Councillors.
What we don't have is funds to purchase it.
Please help us to realise our dream by donating anything you can and together we can try to protect this special woodland.
p.s Should we be outbid and therefore unsuccessful, donations will be returned to each of you.