TWIG's first successful partnership
Holland Mill Wood was the first TWIG project started in 1995 and was planted in partnership with the Woodland Trust.
Now 17 years old it has the feel of a native woodland with an abundance of self-sown trees and much wildlife that has made its own way into the site - probably from the adjacent Holland Mill Pits, an Essex Wildlife Trust reserve. Slow worms along with adders basking in the sun can be regularly seen - it is also a site famous for its summer nightingales and winter woodcocks. There is also a healthy population of dormice in the adjacent reserve which we hope will spread into the new wood. This shows the value of planting new woodland adjacent to existing wildlife habitats.
Here are some facts about the dormouse. It's quite unique in that it has a furry tail, and on account of it hibernating for six months or more and sleeping all day it was called 'the sleepy one' by the Anglo-Normans, the name coming from the French verb 'to sleep' - dormir. This is why the dormouse is always falling asleep in Alice in Wonderland.
Great Holland Pits and Holland Mill Wood Warden
The warden for these two adjoining wildlife sites is Bob Seago and more information can be found at his web site http://www.rjseago.com/
In the beginning - 1994.
Below is a photograph of Holland Mill Pits with the future Holland Mill Wood being the arable field at the bottom centre and left.
The trees are in
Ten years on
Holland Mill Wood today.
17 years on (2012) the original TWIG committee and some of the planting volunteers meet again. In the background is the wood today - some of the visible trees have grown from seeds dropped by the original trees. From left to right - Maureen Gray, David Bain, Anne Bevan, Bob Bevan, Bob Seago, Di Humphreys, Janet Enever and John Ratford (off camera). A great team with a lot of energy and real inspiration to move a reinstated TWIG to new projects.
Next reunion meeting
The next meeting will be on Sunday 21st June 2020 to celebrate TWIG's Silver Jubilee (25 years). Arrive early to see a partial 'annular solar eclipse' too.