August 1, 2012, by Fraser

Looking ahead to Sutton Bonington’s Diamond Wood

Sixty special Diamond Woods are being planted in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. One of these sites is to be on University land by Sutton Bonington — Sharon Clancy, Head of Community Partnerships at the University, went to visit the site… 

Covered in mud

On Thursday 5 July I had the pleasure of walking down a boggy but rather beautiful sun-lit, tree-lined avenue in Sutton Bonington to check out the University’s Diamond Wood site, in the company of Dominic Sweeting from the Woodland Trust and Kate Allies from South Derbyshire Council. Being me, I had not thought to dress for the experience and, in a summery dress and sandals, I was soon covered in mud! But this didn’t detract from suddenly coming upon the site in a gap in the trees, captured in a rare shot of sunlight.

A huge tree-dotted field lay in front of me, something like I imagine England looking at its most unspoilt, like some rural idyll. And, more prosaically, I was finally able to put a place to a name and a site map! I tried to imagine the site ringing with the sound of voices and activity, and quizzed Dominic and Kate about the ideas that had been put forward for how the site could be used. Green gyms were mentioned, walks and picnics; students, staff, communities coming together. It was quite a vision.

Celebrating the Diamond Jubilee

So Nottinghamshire is to be part of this permanent celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, as people may know, after being granted the Diamond Wood on University of Nottingham land near the Sutton Bonington Campus. And this is one of 60 sites across the UK, one for every year of the Queen’s reign.

The Woodland Trust are organising a mass tree planting programme across the country.  Planting at Sutton Bonington will take place later this year, starting with primary schools’ involvement in November and a community tree planting event on 1 December. It will be a collaboration between the Woodland Trust, local communities and The University of Nottingham.  To that end, Community Partnerships are chairing a Diamond Wood Community Engagement Working Group and are helping to co-ordinate community engagement with the Sutton site event.

The Sutton Bonington Show

The Diamond Woods will be a place for everyone to enjoy.  To promote this project, representatives of the groups involved are organising a stand at the Sutton Bonington Show on Sunday 2 September 2012.

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