Greenslate Community Farm has about 30 acres of land in total, half of which is arable, buildings and allotments and the rest of which is a mixture of meadow and woodland. The woodland is the result of self-seeding and consists almost entirely of Salix caprea (goat willow).
We want the woodland to be of use in the following ways:
• As an educational and woodland activity resource for children
• As a source of produce to be used directly on the farm and sold to the public
• As a rich and diverse environment which will play host to a range of plants and animals
The woods are already used by children’s groups for parties and woodland craft activities. We plan to improve the area where these activities take place by providing some more infrastructure over the medium term. There is a group looking at putting a funding bid together for this at the moment.
My Outdoor Classroom CIC has been working with Greenslate farm to run Forest school sessions and bushcraft activities. We have set up and ran a fully outdoors Forest School holiday club for local families. Here, children spent time building dens, lighting fires and using their imaginations. We have also been running Bushcraft birthday parties for children. We want to reconnect children with nature by spending time in the woods.
As well as making the woodland more accessible for the public, we are working with organisations such as The Wildlife Trust and RSPB to encourage as much bio-diversity as possible by clearing areas of Goat Willow and replanting Oak, Hazel, Beech, Birch and other native varieties of trees, and creating habitats for hedgehogs, bugs, birds, bats and other small mammals as well as encouraging ferns, mosses and other ground cover plants to thrive.