Timber trade urged to back £1.8m woodland centre25 May 2012
Timber traders in the London and east of England area are being urged to support the construction of a new £1.8m woodland centre near Southend which will engage local schools and communities in education and family events.
Timber trade consultant Geoff Rhodes, of Geoff Rhodes Associates, appealed to traders to help raise the last £40,000 needed for the Belfairs Woodland Centre – the heart of the Hadleigh and Daws Heath Ancient Woodlands Living Landscape Project.
The centre, designed by Inkpen Downie architects and featuring a sustainable timber design, was granted planning approval in January, followed swiftly by an £855,000 funding award from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Other funders include Southend-on-Sea Borough Council (which is co-ordinating the project with Essex Wildlife Trust), Network Rail and the Forest Education Initiative.
Mr Rhodes, who has been involved in the project since 2004, has approached timber companies in Essex and London to ask for donations.
“One company donated a couple of thousand, another £500 and the East Anglian Timber Trade have asked their members to support the project,” he said.
“One company offered to provide timber materials at cost.”
Building work is hoped to start this summer with the Essex Wildlife Trust, which will run the centre, co-ordinating the final fund-raising.
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