After 25 years of conservation work in Ponds Wood Nature Reserve, St Leonards, the Wishing Tree Woodland Group are still going strong.
The group was set up tin 1992 to look after Ponds Wood. People living nearby were concerned that it was looking tired, particularly after the damage caused by the great storm of 1987.
Founder-member of the group, Ian Hills contacted Hastings Borough Council (HBC) to see what could be done to halt the wood’s decline. The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers provided help to set up the group. Ian says 25 years of hard work paid off and the group are pleased with how the wood looks now. “We said at the start that we would keep going as long as it was still enjoyable,” he said. “And it still is.”
Ponds Wood is owned by HBC. Under the guidance of a Council Ranger a dozen or so local volunteers meet monthly to keep it looking good. Ian added: “You can walk through the wood following the footpath signed from the bottom of Gillsmans Hill. It looks particularly attractive in spring.”
The group has won several awards over the years including HBC Civic Pride Award, Southern Water Pond Conservation Award, Shell Footpath Award and Greater Hollington Star Award. The group will be working in Ponds Wood on Saturday April 22, 10am-1pm. For more details call Ian (01424) 444562.