Tom Handley from Growforest was welcomed to the meeting to give a presentation on the Countryside Skills commission, also known as Working Walls and Woods.
The presentation provided a reflection on the commission from its inception in September, 2014 to March, 2016. It focused on many of the ‘softer’ outcomes, which were more difficult to monitor, such as how the project had reengaged people with nature, changing their lives.
It was noted that the project had created a depot, and had rebuilt 100s of metres of walls in high profile public spaces, and had used 1940ft of string!.
The presentation focused on the individuals the project had engaged with, their backgrounds and the impact the project had on their lives. Though the dropout rate was high, those who engaged more fully in the project learned skills in dry stone walling, hedge laying and woodcraft. In addition many had increased their levels of confidence, taken greater responsibility and adopted a work ethic.
Members expressed their thanks for all the work on the project and the worthwhile impact it had made, surpassing expectations.
RESOLVED that Tom Handley be thanked for the presentation and his work on the commission.