It was with great pleasure that John Newman (Trustee) and Viv Cole (Trust Manager) went to pick up a special award from the Royal Forestry Society on Friday 15th July at a lovely event at the National Memorial Arborteum in Staffordshire.  The awards are normally regionally focused each year and in 2017 the Community Trust won first place in the Community category.  We were then invited back to be part of the best of the best awards in 2022 when all of the previous regional winners were up against each other.  We were incredibly pleased to be shortlisted and while we didn't make the very top spot, when we saw who we were up against, we were very chuffed to receive Silver.

The judges said:

"Warley Woods Community Trust was set up in 2004 to manage a site of 100 acres on a long-term lease from Sandwell Council. The park is a mixture of woodland, open meadow and golf course. It is designated as a Site of Important Nature Conservation.

Warley Woods is in the heart of an urban setting and used regularly by the local community. Since the Covid pandemic the site has seen an increase in visitors from further afield.

A current HLF funded project has been concentrating on the biodiversity of the site and engaging volunteers and local residents to help carry out wildlife surveys. These surveys feed into site and woodland management plans.

Interaction between the Trust and local community is enhanced by its social media presence and regular newsletters to its growing mailing list. The annual picnic in the park event has proved very popular.

Income from the golf course, shop and regular donations are building a sustainable future for the site. The Trust aims to build a bigger, more fit-for-purpose visitor centre in the heart of the site.

What stood out for the judges was the passion of the a small but highly dedicated team of staff and the volunteers and trustees."

At the ceremony we our commitment to the long term sustainabilty of the site was mentioned.

You can read about the awards and other award winners here.