Ore Community Land Trust (OCLT) has been granted £20,200 by Big Local North East Hastings to progress its plans to buy three plots of land in Speckled Wood in Ore.
Speckled Wood covers roughly 13 acres of woodland in the upper Ore Valley which is the last remaining large green lung in the area. For many years it was at risk of development but under the Hastings Council’s current local plan it has now been re-designated as protected urban green space.
OCLT’s objectives include protecting Speckled Wood from development by acquiring the land from its many current owners and preserving and managing it as an open green space for the benefit of the community in perpetuity, while protecting animal habitats.
This Big Local grant will significantly further those aims and greatly increase the OCLT’s ownership of land within the Ore valley. Two of the plots adjoin Ore village green, just off the Old London Road and will become the location of a base for OCLT’s volunteer work in the wooded valley.
A containerised site office, already owned by OCLT thanks to an earlier Big Local grant, will be located there and will greatly assist OCLT in its activities. The third plot is adjacent to the former Church Street near to Clifton Road and the Trust plans turn this currently overgrown area into a meadow with seating. This includes the eradication of the current Japanese Knotweed infestation. This plot is adjacent to the planned Hastings Greenway route.
Tony Polain, OCLT’s Secretary said: “The Trust greatly appreciates the investment made in its activities by Big Local and looks forward to completing the purchases and starting work on the land. OCLT urgently needs new volunteers to help with all of our work, including managing the woodland, fund-raising and administration.
“This grant enables OCLT to take the next step in Speckled Wood, but we are also greatly in need of donations to support our ongoing work, tools, equipment and consumables, etc. Individuals and organisations who would like to help with OCLT’s work can make donations via the PayPal facility on our website.”
Title photograph courtesy of Tony Polain