16th Apr 07
Community celebrates Tongham Wood opening
Cllr David Munro cuts the ribbon with local scoutsSurrey County Councillor David Munro of Farnham South officially opened Tongham Wood on Sunday with the help of local 4th Farnham Tongham scouts in a ribbon cutting ceremony. This event celebrated the culmination of more than four years’ hard work by local volunteers.

The opening marked the occasion of new interpretation boards installed at Tongham Wood to greet visitors at the main entrances - a cornerstone in Tongham Wood Improvement Group’s (TWIG) hard work. The boards contain a map of the wood and highlight the main areas to visit together with an explanation of what can be found there. Cllr David Munro, Portfolio Holder for the Environment, was invited to officially open the wood and recognise the work that has gone into turning the once fly-tipped, overgrown site into a green space that benefits local residents and wildlife alike.

In his opening speech, Cllr David Munro thanked TWIG volunteers for all their hard work and praised Tongham Wood as “an example to others on what can be achieved”.

Those attending included the local residents, local groups including Tongham Scouts and Tongham Youth Club, Borough Councillor Nick Sutcliffe for Ash South and Tongham, Tongham Parish Councillors, Surrey Wildlife Trust and Access Group Guildford amongst others.

Iain Murray, Chair of TWIG, acknowledged all those who had contributed and supported their work and helped get them where they are today. He said “ I would like to thank the people of Tongham who have literally voted with their feet by their increasing use of the woods and given us verbal encouragement for our efforts.”

Following the ribbon cutting guests were taken on tours of the wood to see the work achieved to date ending in refreshments.

Tongham Wood is freely open to the public and has wheelchair access. Further information can be found at www.tonghamwood.org.uk .

• Photo accredited to A Eggleton: Ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open Tongham Wood¨ Iain Murray, Chair of TWIG, Cllr Nick Sutcliffe, Cllr David Munro cutting the ribbon with Amy and Matthew of the 4th Farnham Tongham Scout Group
• The day consisted of a welcome by Iain Murray, Chair of Tongham Wood Improvement Group (TWIG), a ribbon cutting by David Munro and guided tours of the wood ending in refreshments.
• TWIG was officially 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 community, and also to protect the area from further development for the benefit of the local community. Visit www.tonghamwood.org.uk
• Tongham Community Wood is semi-natural woodland, with old oak stands and coppice stools, and is ideal for dog walkers, families and children.
• To date TWIG have raised over £4,600 and secured an additional £5,000 towards improvements to the wood. Visitors will have a personal tour of the wood to hear how this money has funded a number of projects including the restoration of an old orchard, the creation of two new coppice areas, wildflower banks bordering the main path and the planting of mixed hedgerows. Over the past four years more than four trailer loads of rubbish have been cleared and more than 200 trees and 900 bulbs planted. The future of Tongham Wood now lies in a current application for Local Nature Reserve status.

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