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Dunnet Forestry Trust Autumn 2011 News Letter

23rd November 2011

Dunnet Forestry Trust Autumn 2011 News Letter

Ee Forest Crack

Dear DFT members,

The nights are drawing in, autumn is here and its time for another Forest news letter; it's been a very busy summer season in the forest.

The Trust's AGM was held on 25th May at Castlehill Heritage Centre and as usual, there were board members standing down, this year Mrs. Jean Clasper, Mr. Irvine Smith and Mr. David Bertram; as there were no other nominees put forward for election all three agreed to stand again for a further three years and were elected 'en bloc'. There is still a vacancy on the board for a treasurer, please get in touch with Heather in the office info[AT]dunnetforest.org if you would like to help.

Heathsfield, the Trust's small woodland at Brough, was officially opened by Mrs Betty Heath on 4th June; a Caithness Environmental Fund grant enabled the Trust to improve public access with new paths and boardwalks, renovate the pond and wetland area and add a picnic table & benches. This is a unique area for all wildlife and biodiversity, a lovely calm place to visit; found just past Brough on the road to Dunnet Head.

The Dounreay apprentices had their annual visit to the forest in July, they worked very hard during the week, the end result being several much needed bridges over a large boggy area which was previously a no go spot for the quad bike and trailer, a big thank you to them from the Board.

One of the highlights this year has been the Government's Climate Challenge Award. The Trust was awarded 26,613 out of a total of 32,613 towards the cost of our project 'Caithness Community Woodfuel'. Dounreay Communities Fund added another 1000 and the Highland Council's Discretionary fund 4000, leaving 1000 to be found from the Trust's own budget. The money has been spent on a small 4x4 utility vehicle and a forestry trailer, very much needed equipment, and a large woodstore meaning our firewood will be dry and kept under cover in the future ensuring a better product.

In October the Trust held a series of 'Woodfuel Information Events', these were part of our Climate Challenge Project and were sponsored by Use Green Heat, Natural Scotland and Energy Saving Scotland. The events included information and training for foresters, land managers (including most of DFT's Board) etc, an information evening about the Government's Renewable Heat Incentive scheme for both business and domestic users, and last but not least, a family woodfuel day in the forest. Various forestry demonstrations were carried out during the family day, these included timber hauling using a low impact forwarder, a firewood processor and horse logging; the latter demonstration was given by local man Henry Riley and his horse Ruby and was very popular with the children. There was also plenty of energy heat/ boiler installation advice organised by Use Green Heat and Energy Saving Scotland and children's quizzes and activities organised by our own Forest Ranger Kirsty Rosie. It was a very successful day.

Once again we are selling Christmas trees, if you would like to order one please, please either phone our office (you may need to leave a message) or send in an email with the approximate size and type, Lodgepole or Sitka. The trees will be ready for collection from the forest on the 10th December 10am to 1pm, this coincides with a log sale.

Are you thinking of planting more trees in your garden this coming spring? Please get in touch before the end of November we may have just what you need in our tree nursery! As usual we will be tree planting in February/ March and will need volunteer help again - if you'd like to take part, just phone or email your name and address into our office and we will add you to our volunteer list and contact you nearer the time, all help is appreciated.
Log sales are being held now on the first Saturday of every month throughout the year, and we are holding one extra sale on December 10th, not only for firewood but for Christmas tree collection as well.
Future Sale dates:- Dec 3rd & 10th, 2012 Jan 7th, Feb 4th, March 3rd, April 7th, May 5th, June 2nd, July 7th. We are always needing volunteers to help on log sale days, if you would like to help to pack splits into bags and load rings into trailers please do come along you'll be made very welcome.

A simple way to help the forest raise money is to use the giving machine website when buying your Christmas presents on line. Go to www.thegivingmachine.co.uk click on shopper/giver; choose Dunnet Forestry Trust as your beneficiary and then continue to your shopping site, a percentage of your sale will go the forest at no cost to you, so far this site has raised just over 62 for the Trust, a big thank you to everyone who has used it.

Another big thank you must go to all those members who have given the Trust donations since the last news letter, we are trying hard to improve the amount of working capital and eliminate cash flow problems, not easy in this financial climate, so thank you again for your support.

Kind regards,
Jean Barnett.
Chair, Dunnet Forestry Trust.


Ranger chat from Kirsty

Hello DFT Members

Walkers in the forest may have noticed that the cheerful resonations of the xylophone are sounding a good deal more tuneful of late. The instrument, a favourite with many of you, has seen much wear and tear since it was built in 2006 by Henry Fosbrooke. We won some funding from International Year of the Forest to employ Henry to service the giant percussion instrument and provide music workshops for music students of Thurso High School.

Volunteers are making a bigger and bigger impact on the forest, last year planting over 800 trees as well as collecting seedlings and nurturing them in the tree nursery. If you have green fingers and have space to bring on some native tree seedlings we would be very glad of them. A plethora of odd jobs from stuffing bears to clearing drains has been tackled by our Green Gym and Health and Happiness groups. Our warmest thanks to everyone who lends a hand.

If you or a group you are involved with would like to visit the forest for some organised activities please get in touch with Kirsty at kirsty[AT]dunnetforest.org.

Best wishes Kirsty.

Do you have an email address?
Please send it into the office if you haven't already done so--- info[AT]dunnetforest.org
This will help to keep our administration costs down and also save on stamps.

 

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