Friday, 26 June 2015


This is a scheme to look out for in the near future:
The Big Lottery Fund (BIG) has awarded £1.2 million to the Plunkett Foundation to support woodland social enterprise schemes.
The Plunkett Foundation helps communities to take control of their challenges and overcome them together.
It supports people, predominantly in rural areas, to set up and run life-changing community co-operatives; enterprises that are owned and run democratically by large numbers of people in their community.
These help people to tackle a range of issues, from isolation and loneliness to poverty, and come in many forms including:
o Shops,
o Cafes,
o Pubs,
o Land-based initiatives,
o and everything in between.
The Making Local Woods Work scheme will be used to support enterprises in unmanaged woodland that could grow into sustainable businesses,
The Big Lottery Fund says the scheme will provide training, volunteering and employment opportunities to 500 people and will support, advise and train 50 groups in the UK to establish woodland social enterprises.
Figures from the Forestry Commission showed that 47 per cent of woodland is unmanaged or under-managed, which could threaten the variety of plant and animal life.
Better management could help preserve and increase the biodiversity of these areas and increase wood fuel production.
BIG cites the examples of
Hill Holt Wood in Lincolnshire, which provides training for young people who have been excluded from school or are unemployed, and
The Blarbuie Woodland Enterprise in Argyll, which has provided the residents of an adjacent long-stay hospital with access to activities including arts and crafts, wildlife walks and training and employment opportunities.
Funding for Making Local Woods Work, which will be run in conjunction with partners including the Woodland Trust and the Forestry Commission, has come as the result of an application made by the Plunkett Foundation under BIG's single awards scheme, which has since been discontinued, a BLF spokeswoman said.
Peter Ainsworth, chair of the BLF, said: "There aren’t many woodland social enterprises around yet, but where they do exist they have a great record of promoting skills and employability. It’s exciting to be able to support this initiative, which aims to improve the quality of life of those directly involved and also make woodlands more accessible and better looked after for the benefit of all."
For further information, go to the Big Lottery Fund website.
For details about the work of the Plunkett Foundation, follow thisLINK.  

(Source: GRIN)

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