Power to Change is providing funding over two years to enable Raincliffe Woods Community Enterprise a Community Interest Company (CIC) to move from an entirely volunteer run organisation to one managed by experienced woodland staff who will be able to be present most days in and around the woodlands. They will coordinate project work, working with communities whilst also managing the thinning work and woodland management.
Currently a team of membership elected directors have been working between 10 and 30 hours a week each, arranging the felling programme and timber sales, submitting bids and managing the proposed scheme for the replacement Forge Valley Boardwalk. Submitting bids for the Power to Change and the Higher Tier Woodland Stewardship schemes and gathering information by walking through the whole woodland. On top of this they have been arranging volunteering days and meeting with a vast range of people and organisations who have an interest in the woodlands. These range from day to day woodland users, schools, universities to the North Yorks National Park, Natural England, Environment Agency, Sustrans and Scarborough Borough Council.
The manager will provide a central contact for all of the above to coordinate these activities and build stronger links with our communities. There will be a strong focus on schools in and around Scarborough to encourage the children to learn about their local environment and to gain the health & well being benefits spending time in a woodland can bring.
Some of the funding comes as capital which will help provide equipment and a base to work from. It will also help to better support our volunteers in their projects with us.
The team of directors will still be very active and possibly be able to spend more time in the woodlands rather than sat at computers writing bids and taking telephone calls.
The funding from Power to Change is a wonderful opportunity to implement so many of the excellent ideas we have been working so hard to develop. With the impact of Covid-19 restricting what we can do and and upon our general health & wellbeing this funding has come at such an important time in all our lives. As a Board of Directors we are committed to ensure the woodland becomes as much a part of our lives in Scarborough as the seafront and that our future generations have a woodland to be very proud of.