Get on (the) Board!

The Management Committee of the woodland has been busy during the pandemic strengthening the CBS and thinking about the next steps for our future.

Most of you will be aware that in 2020 we changed the name of the project to Laughton Greenwood following consultation with our membership and wider supporters. Since then we have been looking to develop opportunities to access the woods, increase our profit-turning activities to support our sustainability – including with new buildings and signage in the woods – and consolidate our Management Committee. We are delighted to have recruited a new Chair and Secretary in the first half of 2021.

There is lots we want to make happen, and we want and need your help to achieve this! If you have ever thought about getting more involved in helping make Laughton Greenwood a valuable community resource and biodiversity success story, then now is the time! Please read on…

BRING YOUR SKILLS TO LAUGHTON GREENWOOD

We are recruiting for new members of the Laughton Greenwood Management Committee, as well as for our advisory board and other volunteers. 

As an active member of the Committee you will be involved in the fascinating detail of managing and developing Laughton Greenwood as an area of increasing biodiversity, a sustainable woodland-based business, and a valuable resource for the local and wider community. This film (currently featured at the Depot website) was made before our name change but really captures what we are trying to achieve.

We meet around once a month, in Lewes or Laughton or, where possible, in the woods. We have lots of ideas about where to take the project but we are looking for yours as well. Skills from woodland expertise, business management and fundraising to community engagement, project administration and beyond are all welcomed.

A priority for us at the moment is to recruit a new Treasurer who can support our sustainability and help with the smooth operation of our financial administration. With new infrastructure in the woods providing new commercial opportunities focused around community ise and engagement, it is a very exciting time to get involved.

What can you expect with the Role of Treasurer?

Over the last five years significant progress has been made to restore and improve this site of ancient wet woodland and conserve it as an important community asset. In 2018 Laughton Greenwood was established as a Community Benefit Society with a membership and democratic management structure. We are currently seeking an enthusiastic person to support the next phase of its development in the crucial role of Treasurer on our Management Committee.

The Committee meets 8-10 times per year – ideally in the Woods, or in Lewes – though we have had a lot of online meetings during covid! As Treasurer you will work closely with the bookkeeper, Chairperson and the Committee to oversee and present budgets, accounts and financial statements to ensure the sustainable running of the woods and help steer our strategic development as a social enterprise. You’ll work with any paid consultants to provide clarity to the Management Committee on the financial implications of projects to aid decision-making, and take a key role in preparing annual budgets and accounts.

If you have a head for figures and a passion for woodlands and helping human communities and natural environments flourish and would like to know more, then please send an email to info@laughtongreenwood.co.uk – We would love to hear from you.

Other Opportunities

As well as the Management Committee we are looking to revive our advisory board, a more informal circle of supporters with particular expertise we can draw on, and who may attend some Committee meetings as well as supporting at events and with raising our profile.

We also need anyone who may be able to offer some time as ad hoc volunteers in a range of areas – e.g. events, fundraising, public communications and developing our Membership.

If you would like to know more don’t hesitate to express your interest by writing to us at info@laughtongreenwood.co.uk.

Please spread the word!

Introducing Laughton Greenwood, our new name

Community woodlands only work if they can draw on the broad range of support available to them. The community for our woods is located close to the woods themselves in local parishes, but also in the towns of Lewes and Hailsham, across Sussex and beyond. We are a small woodland, but like the individual trees we are connected to a much bigger network.

As the project’s moved forward we’ve realised we can be clearer about who we are and what our community woodland is all about. One aspect that we felt could be clearer was the name, and so in early 2020 we decided on a change from Vert Woods Community Woodland.

We wanted something memorable and easy to say, that helps people understand where the woods are and has the spirit of what we’re trying to do together. 

The first step was to go out to members to generate a list of ideas. More than thirty came back. The Management Committee whittled these down to a shortlist of three possible names, which then went back out to members to consider.

Laughton Greenwood was clearly the preferred option. Having ‘Laughton’ in the name will help to locate the woodland for more of those people who could be getting involved. ‘Greenwood’ helps to get across our mission to restore the woods to life and put nature at the heart of our decisions.

Greenwood also echoes the ‘Vert’ in the woods’ historical name. The human heritage of the woodland is important to us, just as the natural history is, and we’re going to make sure that ‘Vert Woods’ and ‘Upper Vert Wood’ (where most of the community woodland is located) are very much part of the story wherever we tell it. 

Over the course of the summer we will be changing the name wherever we need to. At first that means official documentation, this website and our social media channels (no need to do anything if you already follow these accounts).

Later on this will include the small amount of signage we have in the woodland itself, and in publicity. We hope it won’t be long before we can get everyone together and celebrate the change in the woods.

Meanwhile the Management Committee is busy putting together funding applications for further improvements to the woods, planning the summer’s harvest of timber and considering how we can make future events in the woods workable while keeping everyone safe and healthy in these strange new times.

We look forward to updating you all on progress. Keep in the loop by signing up to our email newsletter if you haven’t already.