Lowestoft community wood project marks a good year

A community group dedicated to making woodland in the Lowestoft area attractive havens of nature is celebrating a year of volunteering success.

For the last 14 years, members of the Gunton Woodland Community Project have spent thousands of hours restoring and maintaining Gunton Wood, in north Lowestoft, which become a wilderness when Gunton Old Hall was pulled down in 1963.

Every Thursday, work parties with up to 35 volunteers maintain the woods for the benefit of Gunton residents, visitors and wildlife.

Volunteers also work on Saturdays at the adjacent Foxburrow Wood and the Gunton Meadow Nature Reserve.

The group has celebrated a successful 2011 as the year saw the project pass a volunteering milestone, receive the praise of the prime minister and secure a vital funding package.

Last year saw the group carry out its 1,000th work party at Gunton Wood with a total of more than 29,000 hours of work carried out.

As a result of the volunteers' effort, a letter of congratulations was sent by No 10 Downing Street to the group in October.

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The group was also awarded a �2,447 grant from the Big Lottery Fund to buy a chainsaw so volunteers could fell dead or dangerous trees and coppice other trees.

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