One element of our Heritage Project is an appreciation of the natural environment in which the Parish Hall is located. Within East Worlington Parish there are several woodlands and in April/May provide a setting for a carpet of bluebells. Historically much more of the land in the area was covered with woodlands and this was reduced with both the demand for timber grew and for greater use of land for farming. Conserving the existing historic woodland and the fauna and flora it supports is important in ensuring continued preservation of our local heritage.
We are very fortunate in that land and woodland being preserved is in the ownership of a local resident at East Worlington House, who provided permission to walk their land and indeed encourages activities that enable further appreciation of the environment.
Our Parish Hall providing a focus as a local Heritage Learning Centre has a role in helping people learn more about our natural environment.
On Saturday 29th April 2017, we organised a learning walk for a group of community members. The walk was arranged and lead by local volunteers who have being fully engaged in the Heritage Project and support its research and shared learning. The walk started at the Parish Hall and took a route down the hill from the Hall across Lawn Meadow to the Little Dart River.
The landowner has constructed a walking bridge across the river using timber from fallen trees and constructed with the skills of local craftspeople.
Having crossed the river we found ourselves in a small meadow that is being preserved as an area of natural grassland and wild flower. A clearly marked pathway provided a route across the meadow from the river to the foot of the hillside supporting the woodland.
Within the woodland there are recognised paths and bridleways and we followed these on a circular route through the trees.
The route provided excellent views of extensive areas of bluebells.
At the end of the circular route we returned to the river and retraced our initial route across Lawn Meadow field and up the hill back to the Hall. On arriving back at the Hall were welcome tea/coffee and cakes refreshments, provided by local volunteers.
Great intellectual, social and emotional experience.