FOREST chiefs have said a big thank you to volunteers who are helping a Lincolnshire wood to turn over a new leaf.
The Forestry Commission laid on a special barbecue in the 75-hectare (187-acre) Osgodby Wood, near Market Rasen, to salute the efforts of local people who have joined the woodland workout project since it was launched two years ago.
The initiative has been pioneered with the Lincolnshire Limewoods Project to help manage local woodlands, create havens for wildlife and help people keep in trim while making new friends.
Those taking part have included retired folk, people with learning needs and nature lovers with a passion for the great outdoors.
Hannah Darcel, health and well-being ranger with the Forestry Commission, said: “People have worked really well to make this scheme a big success and they have also forged new friendships and benefited from gentle exercise.
“It’s been a tonic for Mother Nature and everyone involved. We were also delighted to welcome new members to the group who are completing their Mencap Gateway Award Silver Level.
“Everyone has made a brilliant contribution. I have been so impressed with how well people have bonded, how much fun we have had and how much effort they put into each task.”
Tasks performed by volunteers include removing birch and bracken to open up a heathland area, planting thousands of trees and clearing Osgodby’s millennium tree planting area giving broadleaves more light and space to grow.
A pond survey has also been carried out to discover what creatures are lurking in the depths.
A similar thank you event was staged in Great West Wood, part of the Bardney Limewoods National Nature Reserve, which has its own workout project.