Warley Woods Lockdown

If someone had told you last New Year's Eve, that in 2020 there would be a global pandemic and you would probably be confined to your home for three months (and counting) – you may well have thought they'd had one too many drinks – but here we are!

Lockdown has been different for all of us, dependant on our personal circumstances. Still, several common themes emerge as universal experiences, some positive and some less so. That odd sense of timelessness. The renewed neighbourliness and community spirit. The value of relationships with friends and family. General anxieties about the future and what comes next. And a greater appreciation of local green spaces and the wildlife they sustain.

For many people, Warley Woods has been a valuable sanctuary in these difficult times. Offering not just a place to take daily exercise but also a place to stay connected with each other (socially distanced, of course). Life can be busy, and it can be easy to take the things on your doorsteps for granted. But now, more than ever, we can appreciate the positive role this 100-acre public park with its vast meadow, ancient woodlands, and diverse wildlife has in our community.

Warley Woods Community Trust staff have continued to work during the lockdown to ensure the park stayed open safely and to safeguard its future. We've been moved by messages from visitors telling us how important the woods have been to them during lockdown, and also comments by donors to our emergency appeal for support.

"I am grateful that we have this beautiful space during these difficult times. Thank you to everyone who is involved!" emergency appeal donor

"Dog walkers, joggers and people like myself walking for their daily exercise pass by, most of them offering a greeting, a smile or a hand raised in acknowledgement and without exception all respecting the social distancing we have been advised to practise and I shall long remember the courtesy of these men and women who, like me value and respect Warley Woods." Mary Sambrook


Back to our roots

Many of our beautiful public parks can be traced back to a desire to provide citizens of Victorian Britain fresh air and a decent standard of living. Our industrial towns were ravaged by frequent public health crises, including outbreaks of cholera, scarlet fever, tuberculosis, typhus, typhoid and other diseases. Parks were seen as integral to improving public health, as vital as water and sewage systems. The 'Peoples Park' has been open to the public since 1906, offering generations a place to take time out, play, meet and have fun.

"Going back to the 1920s my family have enjoyed growing up loving the Woods, and we enjoy regular visits and appreciate all of the marvellous work that has been done and thank you for continuing the great work you have done to help the current and future generations." Emergency appeal donor

In case we had forgotten, the pandemic has reminded us that green spaces are vital to maintaining good mental and physical health. With public urban green space even more important. Now, more than ever, we can appreciate the foresight and wisdom of our Victorian ancestors who bequeathed them to us. Once this is all over we as a community should pass on the gift of Warley Woods to future generations.

"Such a beautiful place. We want to keep it that way for the generations to come." Emergency appeal donor


"At a time of great uncertainty, worry and fear. The Woods has offered a sign that things can change, that life can progress, and that life is beautiful. It lifts my heart every time I visit, it refreshes my soul and eases the burdens of worry and fear. For me, Warley Woods is my oasis." Martin Bottoms

We hope you continue to enjoy Warley Woods during these difficult times and it remains a haven for all.   If you enjoy your visits, please consider joining the Trust or making a single donation. Our income is going to be significantly reduced by the ongoing situation and we would love to come through this period in a good place to continue our work caring for Warley Woods. Every donation really will enable us to keep your Woods in the style to which everyone has become accustomed!

Thank you for your understanding and support.

The staff and Trustees of Warley Woods Community Trust

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