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The Parish Council are aware of a number of Tyre/Rope Swings that have been set up in Parklands Wood.
The Council take no responsibility or liability for these and politely ask that the person/people who put them up, remove them at their earliest convenience as they are unlikely to want to take on the responsibility for them, especially any potential injury claim they may cause; the Parish Council’s insurance policy would not cover any injury or liability relating to these swings.
Ufford Parish Council purchased Parklands Woods (8.12ha) from Suffolk Coastal District Council in 2014. The woodland has historically been used by the community of Ufford predominantly for recreational purposes. It is the intention that this usage continue, along with more structured woodland management that ensures the woodland not only survives but allows an increase in biodiversity and habitat.
It is the intention that management of the wood will fulfil the Parish Council's “Duty of Care” and ensure the safe use of the woodland for recreation users, the public highway and adjacent landowners. The woodland has developed from Parkland that surrounded Ufford House that was demolished in the 1950s. The wood has a large number of mature and some veteran trees, oak, ash, lime and sweet chestnut some of which have already become over mature and have required remedial actions to make them safe.
Parklands Wood has an agreed Management Plan with the Forestry Commission and a Felling License and are managed by the Friends of Parklands Wood with support from the Parish Council. The long term vision for the woodland is to create a sustainable, uneven aged structure to the wood; with a multiple layered canopy, through the use of a continuous cover forestry approach.
The group have been very fortunate to have secured funding from our local District Councillors to pay for the training of our chain saw user who attended a rigorous training course and also paid for the safety equipment, chain saw and other tools. We have worked mainly with professional tree surgeons who have often used the felled wood to pay for their services. For more complex work to be carried out to older mature trees the Parish Council has paid for this work.
As a community wood the Friends of Parklands wood have worked with the Woodland Trust, who have given the group over 1,000 saplings. These have been mainly used to create new hedge boundaries to the Avenue and Old Yarmouth Road. The group have also worked with the Probation Service to create dead hedges and has hosted some Forest School sessions.
A resident who wrote a book about the village men who served in WW1 donated the profits enabling the group to purchase three benches that are placed in the wood.
What has happened over the years?
During 2016 the Friends of Parklands Wood won an award from Greenprint Forum to have an Information Board designed to show the type of trees and the paths in the wood, it is located beside the Play Park.
In 2018 the Ufford Punch Committee gave the group funds to offset their carbon usage, these flowering cherries have been planted in an area close to a footpath so that as many people as possible will enjoy seeing them grow.
In 2019, a 200 year old Redwood Tree close to Redwood Terrace was felled of the due to safety concerns, it was a very sad loss to that part of the woodlands. However the positive result was an award from the Lottery helped us look after the woodlands, to include a woodland and safety check, a bat survey, an information Board about the use of the woods during WW2 and a chain saw carving from the trunk of the redwood.
In 2020, during the “shut down” due to the virus, the group suggested that villagers could adopt a sapling and even hug a tree. During the pandemic many people have enjoyed walking in the woods as part of their daily exercise time, enjoying the ever changing environment.
The Parish Council and the Friends of Parklands Wood were awarded another grant from the Lottery to undertake further work in the woods to include the following: Tree and risk management survey, ongoing management of the dead and dying ancient trees for 1 year, an Information Board relating to the use of the wood during WW11, a Bat Survey and chain saw carvings using the remains of the Redwood that was felled due to safety concerns in 2019. We were then able to place carvings of a Fox, Toad, Butterfly, Moth, a Moon around the woods for the enjoyment of visitors.
In 2021 the Friends of Parklands Wood were awarded an East Suffolk, Recommendation in the Community Category of the Quality of Place Awards.
In 2023 the three chain saw users have undertaken either a refresher course or an initial training course, funding was made available from our local Councillors Locality Budget and the Parish Council. Their equipment has been updated to meet Health and Safety requirements.
Our Tree Surgeon undertook a considerable thinning of the over crowded areas of the woods, the group spent several sessions clearing the brash and making log piles to encourage biodiversity. Notcutts and Swans Nurseries kindly donated bulbs and several trees, Cherry, Hawthorne, Silver Birch and Hazel that are now planted in the woods.
During the year we have been fortunate to have found Tree Poppers, funding to purchase two was made available from East Suffolk’s Greenprint Forum and Ufford Parish Council. The group have very successfully used the Tree Poppers to remove hundreds of Sycamore seedlings that were carpeting the woods. One of the effect of lockdown was that the group were not able to meet a regularly and the nettles brambles and Sycamores were taking over various areas of the woods. During the year as light has improved in the woods the number of wildflowers have increased, the bird sightings and songs have been enjoyed.
The Friends of Parklands Wood are delighted that so many residents and visitors have enjoyed being in and walking in the woods. We welcome anyone who wishes to come and help the group look after our beautiful woods.