Archive for the ‘Appeal progress’ Category

Last Spring local resident Alex Mowe ran a marathon in aid of Heartwood Forest and managed to raise an impressive £1,000! This year he is attempting two marathons with half of all donations going to Heartwood.

If you think Alex deserves your support check out his Just Giving page and donate whatever you can to encourage him along that 26.2 mile run!

We would like to say a huge thanks to Alex for dedicating his time to our cause and helping us to create and maintain Heartwood, thank you Alex!

Alex Mowe


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With the help of everyone who walked with Get Fit and Give or supported their events over the last two years, they have managed to raise £7,507!

From this amount they pledged that a third of what they charge per walk to the Woodland Trust for everyone who walked with them up at Heartwood Forest (one of their three regular routes). These walks together with their Afternoon Tea and Cake sale earlier this year at the Rose & Crown pub Sandridge has allowed them to donate a healthy £1,314 towards the up keep of this amazing piece of countryside.

With very little publicity and no advertising budget they have shown how powerful little and often can be, both in terms of  the amount of money they have raised for good causes and the small healthy changes they help people make in their daily lifestyles

 Carol from Get Fit & Give believes that the unique combination of regular exercise and social interaction, combined with helping others has a profoundly positive effect on an individual’s wellbeing and would love more of you to reap the benefits. If you would like to know more have a look at their website www.getfitandgive.co.uk or contact Carol on 07801 651141.


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Heartwood Forest was lucky last weekend to have a supporter pounding the streets of Brighton for 26.2 miles. Alex Mowe, the husband of one of our volunteers, ran his first Marathon in aid of Heartwood and MacMillan Cancer Support and completed this huge achievement in 3 hours 58 minutes.

His fabulous fundraising efforts meant that he raised £1,000 each for both charities, and Heartwood Forest can add this much needed financial support to the appeal fund.

We are 3 years in to this £10.4m woodland creation project, but we still have 7 years to go and around £1m to raise to complete the planting of 600,000 trees, a Community Orchard, Wildflower Meadows, Footpaths and Bridleways to construct and maintain.

Well done and thank you Alex!

If you would like to support us like Alex, no matter how large or small a donation, we would be very grateful, and you can do this through making a donation via our website.

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Well, it’s because we’re undergoing a thorough Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which is helping us to plan the new woodland. This is carried out under the auspices of the Forestry Commission in line with the Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999. Amongst other things, the process will help us decide the most suitable areas to establish the trees and associated interests. We’re looking at the likely effects that the project might have on people, flora, fauna, water, soils, climate, archaeology, landscape… the list goes on.


We want to create a huge woodland but we do have a degree of flexibility and can incorporate some open space, and the newly accessible land will offer some great views – we want to keep some of these so we’re working with a landscape architect to look at how the planting can merge into the environment in the most aesthetically pleasing way, at the same time maximising conservation value by buffering existing and adjacent wildlife habitats.


The Roman town Verulamium, the nearby Belgic Devil’s Dyke and the war of the roses, we know the area has historical interest which is why we are working with archaeological consultants to locate any significant remains. Magnetic susceptibility sampling is currently under way – don’t ask me what it is but I’m told it helps identify what’s below the surface. We know of at least two Roman roads at the site already.

Breeding bird surveys, butterfly transects, transport analyses, it’s all underway or in the pipeline.


Gathering this vast array information as quickly and efficiently as we can is one thing, but marrying it together to come up with a workable planting scheme is another. But with any luck we should be in a position to sharpen our spades and get planting by the end of the year. That’s when we’ll be asking for your help!

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A few people have been asking about where they can and can’t walk at Heartwood Forest; – there seems to be a bit of confusion, so I’ll attempt to explain where and why.


Currently there’s free public access to 70 hectares (170 acres) of land (that’s nearly 95 football pitches). Although the whole site is 345 hectares we simply can’t plant it all in one go (even the Woodland Trust!) so the remainder of the estate will continue to be farmed for a while, and unfortunately we’re unable to provide access to these farmed areas yet.  But farming will gradually make way for forestry and with it an increasing amount of public access. We’re taking in hand 70 hectares a year for tree planting (the next lot in October 09), so after 3 or 4 years there’ll be open access over the entire site.


So in the meantime please try to stay off those wheat crops but enjoy the areas of open access – identified on the maps available around the site and online – www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/heartwood


I’ve explored most of the site and I’d say that this initial area of open access has some of the best sights around. Some cracking views are included within this initial 70 hectares as well as those amazing pockets of ancient woodland – so this year why not venture into Pismire Spring or Pudler’s Wood to check out those glorious spring flowers.

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Is enough, enough? Help Heartwood

When we launched our fundraising campaign for a ‘mystery site’ in the south east in May 2008, I don’t think any of our supporters could have envisaged what we would later unveil in July. The site at Sandridge, outside St Albans is to be the biggest woodland creation project in England!  

At an area the size of 425 football pitches, it is no small task. As one of the least wooded countries in Europe, our supporters have seen this as a great opportunity to help us increase our woodland cover and have helped us raise enough money to be able to purchase the site. When we announced we had acquired the land we were also able to tell people the name for the site would be Heartwood. However to complete the vision of the site we need to raise a total of £8.5million to be able to buy the land and plant the trees for the site …..so you know what’s coming next….if you can donate what you can to the Heartwood appeal, your help would make all the difference.

We have the opportunity to make history with this project. Instead of leaving future generations with a legacy of airport expansion and a boom and bust economy; we can leave them with acres of life-enhancing woods, relaxing open areas and miles of pathways to explore. 

Myself and the project team will be using this blog to let you know about latest developments, update on our fundraising efforts and reply to your comments.

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