In 1994 an opportunity to buy a parcel of woodland adjacent to St. Marks Church (approx. 1 acre) caught the attention of the Parish Council, under the Chairmanship of the late Miss Joan Cornwell. Part of the land (approx. 1 acres) could be used as a parish burial ground (the present one being nearly full) and the remainder could be used as an amenity for the whole parish.
In 1996 negotiations were started with the owners to buy the land and it was eventually purchased, part freehold, (1 acre), the remainder on a 999-year lease. An ad hoc committee was set up to deal with the initial planning of the woodland, which was later to be called Chapel wood.
Help and advice was sought from the then British Trust of Conservation Volunteers, now BTCV, to help with the management and assist with the many tasks required. It was decided to create a pond and dipping platform within the woodland, This could be used by the local school to help with their environmental studies.
Barclays Bank agreed to sponsor this project and local parishioners volunteered to help with the work. In September 1997, a woodland committee was established to carry out the day-to-day management and running of the woodland. Work continued with the help of BTCV in erecting fences, clearing paths, felling and pruning dangerous trees and planting new ones. On 11th September 1997 the newly created pond was visited by David Bellamy at the start of national pond launch week, and on the 16th September 1997 the pond and dipping platform were officially opened by Miss Joan Cornwell with many parishioners and children in attendance. Work continued into 1998. A Management plan was prepared by the community officer of BTCV and grant was obtained from "Rural Action" to fund this project. A tree survey was started and work continued with clearing overgrown areas, creating glades and planting shrubs.
Into the year 2000 the work continued. Working parties, "Friends of Chapel Wood" were organised to meet every second Saturday in the month between 9.30 - 11.30 AM. If you feel you would like to help us , please turn up at St. Marks church car park. There will always be someone there. No special skills are required, just a willingness to do a bit for YOUR community and chance to meet like minded people in maintaining and improving your woodland amenity. Please come and join us. The Friends of Chapel Wood meet regularly to discuss new ideas and work plans.