Welcome to the website for Castle Point Wildlife Group
WELCOME TO OUR WEBSITE
Please see our page - Wood for Heating - for information about logs
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As many may be aware Essex County Council are going to be constructing a flood Bund in Westwood. This will be a raised embankment going across the brook where the current ford crossing is.
Just to update everyone. Work will be starting very shortly in Westwood on the construction of the flood bund by Essex County Council. Whilst we manage the woods we are not directly involved in this project and any queries should be directed to Essex County Council. Work will involve plant and machinery in the woods, so please be careful. It will also mean some paths around the ford crossing over Prittle Brook will be closed. As far as we know works will be ongoing for around 12 - 14 weeks. A Newsletter with information can be found on our Newsletter page.
We currently manage 2 areas of woodland within the Castle Point area of Essex.
We are a registered charity. Our charity number is 1139395.
Our first site is North Benfleet Hall Wood near Woodside Park which consists of around 11 acres of woodland with some natural ponds. Woodside Park and North Benfleet Hall Wood were awarded Green Flag status in 2012, and have succesfully retained it in 2013 and now 2014 which is a great achievement and signals the benefits of our work and the partnership with the Council.
The second and the largest is West Wood in Benfleet located off Rayleigh Road. West Wood is around 80 acres of ancient woodland previously owned by the Church, and now owned by Castle Point Borough Council. A woodland Management Plan was commissioned by the Council in 2010, which has now been produced and adopted by the Council. This plan is designed to regenerate the woodland and ensure the habitats for wildlife. are developed and preserved. We are also very pleased that we have entered in to a new agreement with the Council as owners of the wood to continue to manage this wood in line with the Management Plan for the next 25 years.
West Wood was historically a coppicing wood. Coppicing is where trees are cut back over a number of years to allow regrowth as well as to encourage plants to grow up and by thinning out the tree canopy it opens up the area for birdlife.We realise coppicing can appear quite drastic at times, but the benefits are shown a couple of years down the line.
For directions to find the woods please visit the page headed directions to our woods, where you will also find a link to a leaflet produced by the Council showing a plan of Westwood.
As a result of the work we undertake in Westwood we have a supply of logs for sale. Free delivery of logs is possible in the local Benfleet, Hadleigh and Thundersley area however a small charge will have to be made for deliveries outside of Castle Point. More information on our Logs and Firewood page. For enquires please contact Neal on 07425 169476.
We are always looking for volunteers to join us to help with work in West Wood and North Benfleet Hall Wood. Please visit the membership page for details, or just come along to one of the events detailed on the events page.
If you wish to have a short talk about the group its activities and the woods we manage please contact us by e mail from the contact us page, and we will do our best to oblige.
We participate in other environmental projects around the borough and put on displays at local shows. We also support the area in assisting to educate the youngsters of the borough about the wildlife in their community. To promote the woods we work with local schools including Westwood Academy.
Please visit the pages showing our work in the woods. We have recently completed restoration of a pond in Westwood which is part of an area we have developed for use by local schools for nature and environmental lessons. This project was funded by Veolia Pitsea Marshes Trust and we would say a big thank you to them for the funding they give us.
As a group we are always looking for more volunteers to join us to help with the work in the woods. Membership is only £10 per year for a family. For further information please use the contact us page of this site, or to apply for membership go to the Membership Application page of this site and download an application form.
Work parties are regularly held in West Wood, please see events page for details (if the weather is wet or the ground is frozen in winter we sometimes have to cancel work sessions but please contact Neal on the day on 07425 169476 if you wish to check).
We also hold work parties in North Benfleet Hall Wood and again dates are shown on the events page. There are tasks for every one ranging from scrub clearance, coppicing to litter picking. If you do not wish to join the group but still want to help out that is no problem just come along in old clothes you will be very welcome.
We hold monthly meetings to discuss our activities, and information is displayed on the noticeboard at the entrance to West Wood off Rayleigh Road (opp Windsor Gardens) or by contacting us via the contact us page on this website. We also produce newsletters and the latest can be veiwed via this website (link on left).
We hope you enjoy the website and ask that you e mail us if you require any further information on our activities.