Pelaw Wood in 2013 – a summary

Looking back over the year it’s surprising how much we have done in the Wood during our working sessions and ‘behind the scenes’.

View from the seat after cutting back the trees

View from the seat after cutting back the trees

Sadly several old oaks and beeches came down in the winds or had to be felled due to fire damage and fungal infection of their roots; but we have planted many saplings. The landslide has disrupted some of our plans for 2013 with the loss of the riverside & terrace paths leading to local nature reserve status, new map-boards and leaflets being postponed until we know whether the paths can be rescued.

But we did gain this marvellous view.


  • New website
  • Facebook Twitter
  • Handout for people diverted through the Wood
  • Wild Woods newsletter
  • Parish Paths Partnership newsletter
  • Countryside Rangers’ newsletter
  • Radio Newcastle interview about landslide
  • Featured walk on Radio 4’s Ramblings with Clare Balding. Cathedral view in the Times and a TV weather report

Liaison with other groupsLower path

  • Friends of Witton Gilbert Dene
  • Friends of Flass vale
  • Durham Wildlife Trust
  • Wild Woods projectDurham University Conservation Volunteers
  • The Conservation Volunteers (TCV)
  • County Forester & landowner’s representative
  • Parish Paths Partnership
  • Countryside Rangers
  • Heritage Days
  • County councillors
  • Rights of Way officers
  • Northumbrian Water’s sewer repair
  • Local police

Members’ activities

  • Path maintenance, step building, caring for trees in the Hockey Field, balsam pulling, slashing & strimming, bracken crushing, barrowing planings and clearing the paths
  • New Year’s Day stroll
  • Relaxing in the Queen’s Head after working in the Wood
  • Strimming course
  • Sadly no dawn chorus walk this year
  • Almost achieving local nature reserve status!
  • New tools & equipment bought & donated
  • Conducted tours with Heritage Days visitors & local councillors
  • Bonfire party
  • Planting saplings and willow wands
  • Clearing the riverside path after the first landslide

Acknowledgements & thanks for their practical and financial support

With the Durham University Conservation Society

With the Durham University Conservation Society

  • John Bragg for his active support & encouragement; and his tree surgeons for opening up the cathedral and selective felling
  • Fran Mudd for arranging training, her practical advice, providing tools, maintaining the strimmers and arranging the beech & sycamore thinning
  • Peter Lattin for creating our new website with Andy Smith of TCV
  • Sarah Wheater for creating & maintaining our Facebook & Twitter accounts
  • Elaine Crow & the Parish Paths Partnership for funding
  • Jenny Garrod of the Rangers
  • Neil Shaw for our old website
  • Audrey Christie & Nick Hall for signposting the paths since the landslip
  • Durham University Conservation Society for their enthusiastic help – especially the barrowing!
  • Tony & Barbara for the bonfire & refreshments
  • The Trees Appeal for saplings
  • County’s bridges section for promptly replacing boards on the Silver Link Bridge
  • The Queen’s Head for all those plates of chips!

2013 Secretary’s Report to the AGM

Published  12 Feb 2014

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