Henry’s Quillet – Success!

Dear Supporters of Brineddin Wood,

Thanks to the pledges of nearly forty people in, around or connected to The Redlake Valley to make finance available to purchase 5.3 acres of Brineddin Wood, we can report that our informal tender offer has been accepted and we stand on the threshold of significantly increasing our ownership on behalf of the local community. This is great news and we are very grateful to those who (subject to contract) have made this possible.

Although contributions fell just short of the figure we targeted as an appropriate offer, the difference between what has been pledged and the tender price has been made up by an interest-free loan from an anonymous benefactor. We now have until the 15th of November to complete the purchase and we have instructed solicitors to act on our behalf. Of course, any further donations and/or share purchases will be most welcome to help us repay our loan. Naturally, there will be an event for shareholders (old and new) and other contributors to help us celebrate this success.

For those who might appreciate a reminder of how the Society operates, our reasons for owning the quillets on behalf of the community are various. First and foremost, the Society is more than ‘just a piece of woodland’. It wants shareholders, residents and visitors to the valley to enjoy the tranquillity of Brineddin Wood. That’s why a flight of rustic steps was built that leads people up the slope and deep into the trees (if you’ve not yet ventured up there, now’s your chance). School children, young adults with learning difficulties and unemployed adults have helped work on woodland management in order to enjoy nature and learn new skills. The two woodland fairs in 2012 and 2017 promoted local businesses and brought people together. Friendships have been formed which otherwise might not have happened.   Secondly, the Society wishes to encourage a greater variety of wildlife. From the exterior, the wood is beautiful with its canopy of oak cloaking the hillside. Internally, although visually attractive, all is not well. The hazel understorey is ageing and failing to regenerate and ground flora is sparse, resulting in a reduced volume and variety of invertebrate and bird species. By enclosing a part of the woodland to protect it from predation, and with some very light thinning of weaker trees, coppiced hazel is already thriving and will encourage a greater variety of wildlife. A larger piece of woodland provides greater scope for this.

Third, the history of the wood is fascinating and possibly unique. The Society has traced its existence to medieval times as a probable extension of a hunting chase. It has also traced the practice of ‘quilleting’ to the early 17th Century, and the succession of quillet ownership to the early 1800s. There is probably more to discover. In that historical context, the Society has suggested to its former owner John Richards, that the new acquisition shall be called ‘Henry’s Quillet’ in memory of his late father, Henry, and to reflects previous ownership by an established family in the valley. John has readily agreed to this.

With best wishes to all, 

From the board members of the Redlake Valley Community Benefit Society

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