Last Updated: 14 Sep 2017 11:08am
Thanks to a £10,000 grant from Postcode Local Lottery, which is supported by players of the People's Postcode Lottery, the Kent Woodland Employment Scheme (KWES) will be adding a host of improvements and activities to the Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council-owned ancient woodland at Holly Hill, near Vigo and Snodland.
KWES, which trains foresters, is working with Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council to use the funding to repair footpaths, install way marking and create glades in the woodland, as well as holding working days for volunteers and events and activities for local residents and school children.
An aim of the KWES is to encourage more visitors and volunteers to the site to help look after this heritage woodland. The site is open to the public year round, and KWES coppices the woodland during the winter months to enhance the environment for native wildlife.
Holly Hill public open space covers an area of about 31 acres of mixed woodland.
The main areas of interest are:
- a managed mixed broadleaved woodland of sweet chestnut, ash, birch and oak which has historically been coppiced
- bluebells in the spring
- fungi in the autumn
- short walks
- the North Downs Way (Wrotham to Cuxton section) passes by the entrance to Holly Hill
- great views including a viewing point where, on a clear day, the City of London and Isle of Grain can be seen.
- various public rights of way including a bridleway
- picnic benches
- Ordnance Survey triangulation station
Since 2009, People's Postcode Lottery has awarded more than £14m to over 1,800 projects across Great Britain. The Postcode Local Lottery grants are awarded to organisations working to make a difference for people across the country via an application process and final decisions are made by an independent board of Trustees.
Maria Heslop, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Community Services, says: "It is wonderful news that this significant amount of funding has been granted to the Kent Woodland Employment Scheme to enable facilities to be improved at Holly Hill. It is so important to protect such a rich ecosystem that has been around for centuries for future generations to enjoy.The apprenticeships provided by the KWES are an excellent entry point into the skills and satisfaction of forestry management."