Woods group wins £2,000 grant to create ‘magical’ nature trail

The Friends of Spa Woods group has received a £2,000 grant to create a nature trail through their part of what remains of the ancient Great North Wood, using wood carvings, fairy doors and a few other surprises thrown in along the way.

“Without giving too much away at this stage,” said a spokesperson for the Friends, “it will be educational and interactive, as well as magical!”

Friends of Spa Woods is a volunteer group set up to preserve, maintain and enhance the historic Spa Woods, off Beulah Hill in Upper Norwood, and promote its use to the local community and public.

The generous grant has come after a bid to the Postcode Local Trust, the charity funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Local artist Chloe Stein, who chairs the Friends group, will create the fairy doors for the walk, while the Friends will be working with chain saw tree sculptors.

The nature trail will include several chain saw carvings along the way

The project has had support from the Great North Woods Project, the London Wildlife Trust, Croydon Council, the Conservation Volunteers and The Chestnut Fund.

Part of the trail will be a memorial to Frankie Howley-Mummery, thanks to a further generous donation from her partner Claire and their children Jack and Mae. Frankie was deputy head at the Priory School and the family used to play in Spa Woods.

Priory is a special school and has a Forest School within the playgrounds. The woods in the school were also part of the Great North Wood.

The trail and woods will provide extended learning opportunities for some of their pupils.

The Friends also recently had the most amazing day with Downsview Primary, when 90 children visited and planted hazel and lime trees in an area recently cleared of non-indigenous trees.

The Great North Woods Project is holding its annual festival on Spa Woods and The Lawns on Saturday September 7 from 11am until 4pm.

For further information please contact: Friendsofspawoods@gmail.com

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