Leafield Community Woodland

Community case studies


Leafield Community Woodland grew from a much simpler project aiming to involve local children in growing and planting trees around the village to mark the millennium. Rural Action funded seed collection and planting courses with John Brannan of Oxford Tree Seeds. In 1998 oak, ash, hawthorn, crab apple and wild service seeds were gathered.

No items found.

Local forester, John Brannan, was engaged to teach the school children about raising trees from seed. He led 4 sessions; an introduction at school, collecting seeds, sowing them in pots and later, planting the young seedlings at the Community Woodland. Hilltop Garden Centre provided the materials and 140 adults and children were involved in sowing 1000 local tree seeds. As the children’s enthusiasm spread, the whole community became involved in a more ambitious plan to buy land and plant a woodland.

In 2000, over 900 new trees and shrubs were planted by volunteers on a 1.28-acre site, purchased from Oxfordshire County Council. A glade was left open for school and village events. The first of these was a grand opening ceremony on 6th October, with an exhibition of the children’s tree project work at Leafield School. The children completed their seed sowing project with John Brannan, by planting their 100 seedling trees at the Community Woodland. Leafield School children also provided leaf designs for the noticeboard and paintings, used on fund raising cards.

In 2001 a work party prepared the hazel trees for coppicing. The young trees were cut down to about 4 inches, so that they would sprout with lots of shoots from the base. These shoots grow into long stems which can be cut for beanpoles, use in hedge laying etc. A fence was built to protect the young shoots from damage by deer or rabbits. This was constructed with stakes and woven wands in the style used by hedge layers, to show what can be done with the products of a mature hazel coppice. And in 2006 the first coppicing of the woodland took place.  

Since 2008 regular work parties have maintained and developed the wood. The aims of Leafield Community for this woodland are:

- To establish and maintain a healthy and sustainable woodland in Leafield for use by the whole community.

- To establish habitats for wildlife and allow visitors a pleasant time in the Community Woodland, with an opportunity to learn.

- To encourage and facilitate the planting of trees within Leafield parish.

For more information see: http://www.leafieldwoodlands.co.uk/index.htm

Copyright © 2022 Wild Oxfordshire. All rights reserved. | Our Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | site by im23