18th Sep 05
A Fruitful Autumn
First fruits of autumn in the orchardVolunteers from Tongham Wood Improvement Group (TWIG), who manage Tongham Community Wood, were enjoying the fruits of their labour last weekend, as part of Go Wild in September, an event co-ordinated by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership.

On Saturday 17th September TWIG held their first open information day outside the White Hart pub to raise awareness of their activities, attract new volunteers and raise money to further their work. The following day, new and old volunteers joined forces in Tongham Community Wood to clear around young fruit trees planted earlier in the year, coppice willow and create a new desire path.
Local volunteer Polly Schofield (aged 14) said she and her brother came to help because "It counts for our Duke of Edinburgh Award, it's good for the environment, and it's fun!"

Local businesses showed their support for TWIG by donating prizes for Saturday’s tombola, including two fish and chip dinners from The Orient, cakes from the bakery, a wash, cut and blow dry from Marcello Argento, two brewery tour tickets from the Hog’s Back Brewery plus other donations from the Post Office, Hogs Back Associates and the White Hart who also offered their forecourt.

Iain Murray, Chair of TWIG, said: “We are really pleased with the positive response from local shops and villagers. As a result of the open day we saw new visitors the very next day in the wood.” Thanks to the generosity of the local businesses and villagers TWIG managed to raise a total of £71.60.

Back in January TWIG planted 50 new fruit trees to regenerate the old orchard in Tongham Community Wood. Their hard work has been bearing fruit with some of the young trees producing a crop of apples, which members of TWIG as well as other visitors to the wood are able to pick. The community wood is open to all local residents and Autumn is a popular time of year when families and walkers and come in and pick apples, elderberries, blackberries and plums.

TWIG always welcomes new volunteers or visitors to the wood. If you would like any further information please e-mail twig@tonghamwood.org.uk

• The photographs depict local volunteers after their hard work clearing around the fruit trees.
• Caption: “First Fruits of the Wood”. Pictured, (left to right: front row) Polly Schofield, Gromit, Sheena Chadbond, Grenadine. (Back row) Carl Chadbond, Iain Murray, Christine Purser, Bob Monk, Tony Anderson, John Etherton, Alan Eggleton, Elizabeth Chan, Jan Bradley, Edwin Schofield
• Photos should be credited to Jane McCarty
• Tongham Wood Improvement Group (TWIG) was formed in July 2004 and is a local voluntary group set up to promote and manage Tongham Community Wood. Working under the guidance of the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership, TWIG has gradually been improving the area for the enjoyment and well being of the whole community, and also to protect the area from further development for the benefit of the local community.
• Tongham Community Wood is semi-natural woodland, with old oak stands and coppice stools, and is ideal for dog walkers and children.
• “Go Wild in September” is co-ordinated by Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership and involves over 15 groups in the Blackwater Valley. It is held to highlight the work of local conservation groups and encourage more people to volunteer and get involved with their local wildlife sites.
• The Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership (BVCP) is funded by the County, District and Parish Councils along the River Blackwater. It works to promote community action in conservation and recreation and to protect the Valley for the enjoyment and well being of the whole community. For more information about BVCP visit www.blackwater-valley.org.uk

Back to top of page

This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards,but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.