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FRIENDS OF NEWTONHILL WOODLAND
21 July 05
How The woodland Is Looking In July 2005
Lots of photos showing the plants and views through the forest. Over the next few years the forest will grow so it will be interesting to compare these later.
8 May 05
The woodland has gone from strength to strength over the last few years. Last year the Highland Council under took major improvement works at the old local 'dump' by upgrading the paths to 'All Ability' standard, providing flagstone furniture and a wildlife interpretive trail.
"Anyone with an interest in the woodland who would like to join the community group should come along to the AGM on 18th May 7pm at MacKay's hotel, Wick."
10 November 04
The improvement works were undertaken by The Highland Council's Planning and Development Service in partnership with the local community group, "Friends of Newtonhill Woodland" and have been on-going over the last two years. The Community Environmental Renewable Scheme was the main funder but several partners including the Highland Access Project and the Highland Biodiversity Project contributed to the overall project.
A range of facilities are now on offer at the woodland site. The upgraded paths are suitable for All Abilities and have addressed previous problems of drainage and steep gradients. For those less able, several flagstone benches have been sited around the trail for rest stops while taking in the sights and sounds of the woodland. All Ability flagstone picnic tables and benches feature at the car park site and picnic area.
Ros Bruce, Friend of Newtonhill Woodland and regular site users explained: "Newtonhill Woodland is a great place for jogging around. The safe surface and varied terrain together with the shelter given by the trees makes it a useful place in a Caithness climate."
The self guided trail leaflet has been upgraded through the Highland Biodiversity Project and is available on site along side new nature based interpretive panels. The attractive panels focus on wildlife that can be found at the woodland and offers some insight about the site history. The panels aim to raise awareness of the range of interesting wildlife that can be found on site and hopes to help visitors identify the many different species of birds, trees, plants, insects and mammals at the woodland.
Marina Finlayson, East Caithness ranger said: "I think we have achieved a great deal over the last few years and it is wonderful to see the improvements finally in place and people making use of the new facilities. It has been a community based project from the beginning and has been driven forward by the Friends of Newtonhill Woodland who have remained committed to the project. Help has come from all sectors of the community, with the Wick Brownies donating and planting up planter boxes and the 1st Wick scouts helping with bird box erection and litter picks. I'd like to thank everyone for their continued support.
"We welcome dog walkers the woodland and encouraged owners to be responsible by making use of the facilities such as dog bins and the dog bag dispenser.
"The people counters have proved that the site is well used. We hope that the improvements will attract more people to the woodland and that schools will find the site more suitable for their needs."
Rob Henderson, Chair of the Friends of Newtonhill Woodland said: "It has been exceptionally rewarding watching the transformation at Newtonhill Community Woodland to All Ability Access. This community project would not have been such a success without all the hard work from the committee and they deserve a special thank you. Thanks should also go out to Marina Finlayson and Dorothy Maxwell, Principle Project Officer with Highland Council Planning and Development Service, who have been an invaluable resource in finding the funding for this project. It is hoped this unique Caithness resource will be used and enjoyed for generations to come."
OTHER IMPROVEMENTS WORKS
To minimise the problem of dog fowling along the paths, a bag dispenser and new dog bins have been provided.
The transformation of the dump into
a community woodland in 1996 provided a valuable recreational facility
close to Wick. During the landscaping process, the 11.6 ha site under went
dramatic changes. The old car wrecks were crushed and stacked on site and
helped form the viewpoint! Masses of rubbish was levelled and covered by
topsoil and later planted with trees. Run -off pollution from the
waste was reduced by planting reed beds around the perimeter ditches and
also provided new habitat for wildlife. Much of the ground was planted
with broadleaf tree species and shrubs which
The Friends of Newtonhill Woodland group aims to promote the conservation, protection and improvement of the woodland for the benefit of local people and to raise environmental awareness. With the Highland Council Ranger Service, the group has been involved in several community led projects such as litter picks, maintenance days, bird box erection, tree planting and environmental awareness raising events. With these improvements, it is hoped that the site will become more attractive to local people to visit and also increase the usage for school groups.
23 August 03
4 May 03
30 April 03
24 April 03
July 2002 Meeting
Scouts Adopt Woodland
As World Conservation Project
Rangers Organise Woodland Spring
Clean-up 9 May 2002
Meeting 30 April 2002
Accessible from Wick, the woodland provides shelter in poor weather conditions and is well used all year round for recreational activities such as dog walking, horse riding and running. In the past the woodland has suffered from a lack of community support.
By forming the new community group, it is hoped that more local people will get involved in the short term running and long term management of the woodland. The next ‘Friends of Newtonhill Woodland’ will take place on Tuesday 19th of March, 7.30pm at Mackays Hotel.
Anyone with an interest in Newtonhill Community Woodland is warmly invited to come along. For any more information please contact Marina Finlayson at the Highland Council Ranger Service on Wick 607758.