Cockshot Dene Woodland Project
TThe Cockshot Dene Woodland Project is an environmental community volunteering project led by the Volunteer Centre Prudhoe and a steering group of local organisations. The aim is to transform the small woodland from a dark and neglected cut-though into a welcoming green space for all.
About two years
Volunteer Centre Prudhoe
Cockshot Dene was identified by local residents as a problem area for anti-social behaviour - drinking and fire- setting, and the current project grew out of a need to address the underlying issues around the site as well as make to make visual improvements.
Community consultation also highlighted a need for better community/cultural activity and facilities, a cleaner local environment that makes the most of green spaces/ woodland, and better access to skills improvement.
The project will involve local people, particularly young people, in making positive changes to their own environment. An environmental & forest skills programme will equip young people with confidence in and respect for the area, and discourage anti-social behaviour.
The improved woodland will be better used by the community, as a venue for outdoor activities and sports, as an outdoor classroom for nearby Childrens' Centre and schools, and as a base for community events.
A long-term decrease in anti-social activity in the area
Activities» Bring local agencies together to devise a programme of volunteering in the Dene, supported by increased police/ community warden patrols.
Success will be a decrease in reported incidents of anti-social behaviour in the Dene, and in litter/damage to the woodland
Increased participation by local residents in regular volunteering activity
Activities» Set up monthly volunteering sessions to improve and maintain the Dene. recruit local volunteers including those on referral with health issues.
Success will be a regular team of volunteers who take part in improvement programmes, and an increase in registered volunteers at the Volunteer Centre
Positive volunteering activities for young people, leading to a greater sense of 'ownership'
Activities» Set up an environmental and forest skills programme with the local Youth Centre and High School
Success will be carrying out an environmental skills programme for young people, and working with them to look at activities they would like to take part in for the future
Involvement by residents in local decision-making processes
Activities» Invite residents on to the Dene steering group, and consult widely on planned activities and developments
Success will be establishing a strong steering group who feel able to look after the long-term improvements and activities in Cockshot Dene
Through these activities, we aim to changing perceptions and use of the woodland, to make a local doorstep greenspace into a place all can enjoy, and to raise awareness and appreciation of natural habitats.
We will demonstrate success by recording the state of the area 'before and after' , by gathering and publicising feedback from participants, and by pointing to ongoing involvement in the area due to this catalyst to action.
There is a risk that we will not attract enough volunteers to make a real impact. We have dealt with this by ensuring that we link up with existing groups and youth services, and promote the projects to individuals and to agencies who refer potential volunteers to us.
We will update funders with a bi-monthly email report detailing activites and progress made. We will also regularly update our project website with photographs and feedback about activities
Budget - Project Cost: £6,840Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £2,220 Forest skills workshops 10 environmental and forest skills outdoor workshops for young people £1,920 Conservation group 12 monthly conservation sessions £1,500 Volunteering Development Worker time to set up steering group £500 Volunteer expenses Materials/ travel/ refreshments for sessions £700 Dry Stone Walling Stone costs for creative drystone feature in the Dene
Current Funding / Pledges
Source Amount Community Foundation LEAF £1,530 Guaranteed
Cockshot Dene is a small area of ancient woodland on the periphery of Prudhoe town, linking West Wylam to Prudhoe Castle and Low Prudhoe industrial area. It is an area both rich in wildlife and in industrial heritage, being the former site of a brickworks and part of West Wylam Colliery; the public footpath through the Dene is known as the old pit road.
The Dene situated in North Prudhoe ward, which falls within the worst 20% of wards on the Index of Multiple Deprivation, and has a population of 2500. Prudhoe itself has a population of 12,000 but is not adequately served with facilities for its growing residential population.
The Volunteer Centre brings together individuals, community groups and voluntary organisations to take part in local volunteering initiatives. We have run a series of woodland management sessions for volunteers over the past year, and installed a natural woodland play area in the Dene, with the full involvement of local residents
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Volunteering Development Officer - supports and encourages local people to volunteer, and works with local agencies to develop projects.
Youth Worker at the East Centre - will support young people to be involved in the youth programme, and act as their key worker for the group sessions
Deni runs a forest school social enterprise and will devise and run sessions