friends of

Carpenters Wood

(Chorleywood, UK)

Updated 30 April 2014

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Carpenters Wood is located within the "Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty".
In Chorleywood West on the Herts/Bucks border, 32km (20m) NW of London,
it is a designated wildlife site - 56 acres of ancient, semi-natural Beech
with Oak, Ash, Larch, Birch, Sycamore and Hornbeam.

Click for map with


* * *  Scroll down for updated table of work sessions & latest correspondence  * * *


Dear Friends,

We are due to meet for our next volunteer session on Thursday 1st May.  Fiona from CMS is planning to come which will be good.       Meet at the Whitelands Ave. entrance at 10.00am - I will have a spare parking permit if anyone needs it!

Looking forward to seeing you all there,


'The Friends of Carpenters Wood', a small group of volunteers who take care of the woodland adjoining Russell Primary School,

invited children and parents to:

A 'Bluebell Walk'

Dear Friends,

Our Bluebell Walk, which was originally planned for the 10th May, took place at 2.30pm on Saturday 26th April, two weeks early because the bluebells arrived earlier this year!

The walk was advertised to the parents at Russell Primary School, the school adjoining the woodland, to provide an opportunity for parents and children to meet some of our volunteers, hear a bit about our work in the woodland, and see the beautiful display of bluebells.

About 16 children, accompanied by around 9 adults, came along for the walk which lasted about an hour and a half.  The weather was gorgeous and the children had a great time climbing on logs, splashing through mud and puddles and identifying flowers, leaves and butterflies using the handouts provided.  It also gave us an opportunity to talk to parents about the importance of our ancient wood and to highlight some of its features such as the chalk pits and the ancient hornbeam hedge.

Particular thanks should go to Michael who explained the difference between our native bluebell and the Spanish 'invader' and also brought along some badger fur to show the children - they were fascinated by the badger sets on the edge of the chalk quarry.  Also, thanks to Shamoon and Dorothy who took these photos, Dorothy also brought along her tree and flower identification books to help those very enthusiastic spotters who were determined to tick every item on their handouts! 

The walk was such a success I think we will arrange an autumn walk to look at mushrooms and toadstools!

Best wishes,


(During the night of 14th Feb 2014 storm-force winds struck the UK)


(Photos by Tony Edwards)


Remedial work starts

6th March 2014


Path blocked.             Almost there.






Ready for the chainsaw team.








(Photos by Barbara and Lesley)



(Usually first Thursday and third Saturday, monthly)

(Meet at 10.00 at Whitelands snicket, unless advised otherwise)




Mar 6 Mar 15
Apr 3 Apr 19
May 10 May 17
Jun 5 Jun 21
Jul 3 Jul 19
Aug 7 Aug 16
Sep 4 (+ AGM) Sep 20
Oct 2 Oct 18
Nov 6 Nov 15 (Quiz night)
Dec 4 Dec 20


Jan 8

Jan 24

Feb 5

Feb 21

March 5 (+ meeting)


"Come and join us - all welcome"

Work session on 7th Nov 2013

(Photos by Lesley Edwards)





(Photos by Donald MacLean)

     1.   Assembling at the snicket.

     3.   Why woodland flora are different.

     5.   Questions from Chairperson Barbara.

     7.   The ancient Hornbeam perimeter.


     2.   Preamble from Expert Alex of C.M.S.

     4.   World's best Bluebells almost in bud.

     6.   Four-legged Friend of Carpenters Wood.

     8.   Two homes of our resident Badgers.


Significant email messages to members from

*  *  *      Chair of the Friends, Barbara Green:      *  *  *

Scroll down (past pictures) for Minutes of Meetings

12 March 2014, from Alex Laurie:

Hi Barbara,

In answer to your queries:

Any news about benches?

From memory the group were a little unsure about the need for them, however if we could identify some locations I'm sure we could get some, perhaps the group could install them, Fiona could give you some guidance on how to.

We have the restoration of the Hornbeam Hedge scheduled for Autumn 2014 - just reminding you as specialist input is needed!!

I'm about to start looking into this, do you have or could you get the contact details for the owner of the neighbouring field?

Have you got a spare Horse Barrier, or if not, a 'No Horses Sign' as we need one just up from the Barrel Arch?

Yes we have three spare barriers, though Rights of Way were not happy for one to be installed over the public footpath. Again could the group install one over other paths if needed?

I have asked Fiona to try to book the CMS volunteers for a summer strimmer/recip. mower session for one or two of our rides. Please Note.

We don't mow rides during the summer months unless they are completely impassible, but may combine some mowing of the edges with a volunteer task on site in the autumn / winter. However, we will not be able to mow rides on an annual basis as ongoing maintenance. What would be really useful in the summer, around June time, would be to weed around the base of the newly planted hedge, then in the autumn to mulch the hedge with the woodchip from the piles along the path.

There is now so much brash in Hillas that we wondered, after the fallen and leaning trees have been removed, could we get a chipper in to deal with some of it, OR would you consider allowing us to have a controlled fire in a safe space?

Having looked into this, the forestry commission advises leaving brash on the woodland floor to rot down and benefit the woodland soils. If you're keen to clear some of the brash from paths, etc the best thing would be to stack it in long rows through the woodland.  These are known as 'windrows' and make great nesting habitat for birds.

We wouldn't advise chipping or burning as it doesn't really achieve anything but takes time, costs money and may disturb nesting birds if done during the spring and summer. We could run some Wednesday volunteer tasks next winter to help deal with the aftermath of the forestry.

Can you supply some simple pictorial signs for dog fouling, litter, no bikes on footpaths, and no fires?  I have asked for these a couple of times from Julie Hughes with little success.  The thing I had in mind was to have a permanent sign attached to the bottom of the information boards which could hold all of these 'pictures' (you know the sort of thing, with a red cross on top of a picture of the offending thing).  We don't want a load of freestanding separate signs as this will all be too much.  I think TRDC use something like this at the Aquadrome.  Can you help?

We don't have anything like this and to be honest we tend not to do this sort of thing.  To my mind most responsible people know that they shouldn't do these sorts of things in woodlands and public open spaces and those that do are unlikely to be deterred by a sign.

The National Trust puts a copy of its byelaws on the back of its notice boards, with a note on the front directing people to them if they want to read them.  I've spoken to Julie about doing something like this.

Kind Regards,


Alex Laurie CMIEEM, Projects Officer,  Countryside Management Service (CMS)


Dear Friends,

After the terrible storms on St Valentine's evening the Larch plantation in Hillas Wood looked like a crash site, so the task today was to try to clear away some of the debris from the footpaths and repair any damage to our newly planted hedge along the Farm Gate footpath.

The 'heavy brigade' tackled the fallen trees across the paths whilst a couple of us filled in any existing gaps in the new hedge. Photos can be viewed on the website. There are still about 20 or so trees in Hillas Wood which are either down or leaning badly and these will be removed shortly by CMS. So the path along the side of Farm Track is passable but you still have to jump over two large fallen trees, and the path down the middle of Hillas (recently cleared by us) is also now passable but strewn with four or five large trees. The hedge is now complete with extra plants around the horse barrier near the Farm Gate to deter riders from using the footpath.

Our committee meeting followed this work session and the minutes of the meeting will be sent to you as soon as they are available.

As you know, we have been fortunate over the last 6 months to have received a lot of 'attention' from CMS and TRDC. The new signage and horse barriers are now all in place, new entrance features have been installed, and the three entrances into the woodland cleared of extraenous posts, and bins and boards repositioned. The next tasks, which have been delayed by all the heavy rain, are to resurface the main Chiltern Way bridleway and to create a more level area at the top of the tarmacked path at Whitelands Avenue to make it easier for people to use the entrance in bad weather. These two major works are planned for sometime in late Spring, but signs will be going up to warn users beforehand. The log piles are also due to be removed in the next couple of months (fingers crossed!).

We are planning to put one or two new benches in the woodland so if you have any ideas about where you think these should be placed, then please email me.

Look out for my next email which will have the minutes attached. (Please scroll down to see the Minutes.)

best wishes,



Dear Friends,

I am attaching the minutes of our latest meeting which was held on 5th September.   There is some important information in the minutes about work that will be carried out in the woodland over the next couple of months, so please have a look.

Our next volunteer session is due on Saturday 21st September, and we will be making a start in the Carpenters Wood 'triangle', ie the bit of wood bounded by the horse field and the back of the houses along Carpenters Wood Drive.  This is an area which has not received much attention, except for the footpath clearance which we did earlier in the year, so we will be having a go at sorting it out.

For volunteers, meet at the Whitelands Avenue entrance at 10.00am, but be careful about parking - I think there are restrictions in force.

Best wishes,



Dear Friends,

Attached is the now completely updated and final version of the 5 Year Action Plan for Carpenters Wood.  We have already started to implement the actions in 2012-2013 and the Hedge Restoration, Entrance Improvements, and new Waymarker Posts and Signs will all be commencing in the next month or two.  So look out for substantial works to be carried out in the woodland this autumn.  I will keep you informed of plans/progress as often as possible.

With regards,



Dear Friends,

The Friends group decided at our last committee meeting that we should name the paths through Carpenters Wood, both for ease of identification of any fallen trees or blocked paths, as well as for identifying and naming areas within the woodland for future work sessions.  This project has now been completed and attached is the map of the woodland with the paths marked with their names.  I hope you also find this useful on your walks in the wood.  I will, in future try to remember to use path names when referring to areas where we are working.

Click for map with PATH NAMES

Best wishes,



Dear Friends,

I am copying you into an email from Tony who attended the Chilterns Woodland Conference on Saturday. Please see below.

Many thanks Tony and Lesley for attending on behalf of the Friends Group.



--- On Sun, 9/6/13, Tony Edwards wrote:


Feedback on the Chilterns Woodland Conference.

Topics included:-

Ash dieback: The message here was don’t panic. Unlike Dutch Elm, Ash dieback is a slow process, a tree can survive for 20 years. Young trees under seven years old are the most vulnerable.

Pine Martens and Grey Squirrels: Research has shown that in parts of Scotland and Ireland grey squirrel numbers have decreased and red squirrel numbers increased where pine martens are present. There are plans to introduce pine martens into three areas in England in an effort to reduce grey squirrel numbers. The areas are Cumbria, the Forest of Dean and the Chilterns.

Tree Guards essential or just clutter? The point here was that they should only be used if required as a protection from deer and if used they should be managed and removed when no longer required.

Overall it was an interesting and informative morning - the majority of people there were land owners.

The message that came out time and again was that deer and squirrels are the biggest threat to our woodlands.  Fortunately we are not troubled too much, if at all, by the deer, just the squirrels - so bring on the pine martens!



Dear All,

I wanted to let you all know of some improvements to the woodland which are being proposed by CMS - Access Audit 29-03-13.pdfIf you have any queries, objections, or comments I would be grateful if you could email them to Alex direct but copy me in so I know what your concerns are.

Many thanks,


From: Alex Laurie <Alex.Laurie@hertfordshire.gov.uk>
Subject: Carpenters wood Access audit
To: "barbara green" <bgreenshirelane@yahoo.co.uk>
Cc: "Fiona Underhill" <Fiona.Underhill@hertfordshire.gov.uk>
Date: Monday, 25 March, 2013, 17:04

Hi Barbara,

As discussed attached our review of the current entrance and access for the woods, please could forward it on to the group to take a look.

If you have any queries about the proposals you can contact me and/or there will be time after the guided walk on the 20th to discuss things.

Once the improvements have been finalised, we'll start to look for funding for the works, and there is plenty that the group and our Wednesday volunteers can get involved in.

Kind Regards

Alex Laurie

Please note my email address has changed to: alex.laurie@hertfordshire.gov.uk

Projects Officer - Countryside Management Service (CMS)

The Old Dairy, Bedford Road, Hitchin SG5 3RR.   Tel - 01462 459395.   Comnet - 46820.   postal point - CHN107

www.hertslink.org/cms   www.facebook.com/hertscms   www.twitter.com/hertscms


The information in this message should be regarded as confidential and is intended for the addressee only unless explicitly stated. If you have received this message in error it must be deleted and the sender notified. The views expressed in this message are personal and not necessarily those of Hertfordshire County Council unless explicitly stated. Please be aware that emails sent to or received from Hertfordshire County Council may be intercepted and read by the council. Interception will only occur to ensure compliance with council policies or procedures or regulatory obligations, to prevent or deter crime, or for the purposes of essential maintenance or support of the email system.


Dear Friends,

Volunteers have been working hard over Christmas and the New Year to clear one of the perimeter paths which follows the line of the gardens in Carpenters Wood Drive and joins up with the Field Footpath which goes up to the Farm Track entrance.  This path has been overgrown and impassable for some time, but we have now opened it up.  We hope that this adds an extra 'circuit' for walkers and also keeps traffic through the bluebells to a minimum.  Robin has just sent me these photos which he took as we opened the final section on Thursday 10th January.

Best wishes,


Photos by Robin Hurley



Thursday 6th March 2014

1.30 pm


Whitegates, Shire Lane, Chorleywood

Present: Barbara Green – Chair, Donald McLean – Vice Chair, Malcolm Green, David Walker, Andrew York, David Cross, Tony Edwards, Dorothy Freedman, Chris Smith, Lesley Edwards – Secretary

1. Apologies for Absence

Frank Mahon-Daly : Stephen Ramsay

2. Minutes of last Meeting


3. Matters Arising

The First Aid Kit is up to date. DW and SR would like to attend a First Aid Course when session available. NB: The keys to bollards at Farm Gate are kept in First Aid Kit.

Access Improvements - mostly completed – outstanding is the Whitelands Avenue entrance where the stepping has still to take place. The Chiltern Way resurfacing has been delayed due to inclement weather but scheduled for April 2014.

Benches – It was agreed that we would like a few benches in the woods but although we had agreed our preferred design and passed this on to CMS we haven’t heard further on this project.

There was concern as to the lack of a horse barrier on the Whitelands public footpath towards the Barrel Arch. TE suggested it should be sited approximately 200 metres from the Barrel Arch. BG to ask AL for advice. We are hoping to acquire one or two "No Horses" posts for our use if required. BG to ask AL. Action BG

BG submitted a small article to Chorleywood Magazine regarding the Friends Group. The next issue to include a report on the Valentine Day storm damage in Hillas.

MG brought up the subject of fixed point photography which had not been actioned yet. Chris Smith said that he would be prepared to take this on. Action CS

The larch log piles are to be removed sometime this spring and would include the recently fallen larches.

The hedgerow planting in Hillas is now complete. The saplings are thriving (they haven’t been short of water this winter). A few have been damaged by the larch fall.

DW surveyed the wood with regard to coppicing. He is of the opinion that there is very little to do but is happy to do what there is imminently or next winter. It was suggested that we put coppicing on our next work list for the footpath by the Whitelands Avenue entrance.

4. Treasurer’s Report

As Stephen was absent from our meeting there was no paper report. BG reported little expenditure. SR to circulate a report in time. Only a few expenses recently. The group discussed purchasing our own strimmer/hedgecutter, some smaller loppers and a heavy duty length of rope. Action TE/MG

5. Report on Progress of Volunteers

BG feels that the Group is as strong as ever and there is always plenty to keep us busy . Friends should contact BG when they feel there is work to be done in any particular place in the woods – especially those of us who walk the woods regularly.

The Group needs to be more structured when it comes to Summer activities. As we cannot disturb nesting birds between March and September our activities could include surveys as well as the usual path clearance. All Friends are asked to put forward suggestions.

BG will speak to The Russell School to see if there is any interest in informative walks with the children and parents. It was thought that we may be able to lead our own nature walks. DF thought Saturday afternoons to be a preferred time; the walks to last approx 45 minutes. 10th May was suggested as a first date for this and parents would be contacted via e-mail from the school.

FU has asked to come along to one of our working sessions and BG will ask her for our first working date in May. Action BG

6. Five Year Plan – update on access improvements and storm clear up.

Work achieved in Year 1- invasive species (i.e. holly and laurel) control, Bracken Glade clearance and ride management. Hedgerow planting in Hillas. The glade facing field edge (Boundary Walk) needs attention this year.

The waymarkers and horse restrictions are all in place with the exception of path already mentioned. The access improvements were complete.

The Friends in conjunction with CMS had a very successful hedgerow planting session in December 2013. Over one hundred saplings including beech, hawthorn and hazel were planted along the path edge of Hillas wood adjacent to the field. This hedgerow to be kept as weed free as possible. The session ended with a very good lunch and thanks to CMS for a delicious spread.

BG is to ask whether we could have a fire to burn some of the brash resulting from storm damage in Hillas. Action BG

BG also agreed to ‘chase’ the additional signage for bottom of notice boards for ‘no dog fouling’, ‘no fires’, no cycling on footpaths’, ‘no litter’. These pictorial signs with red crosses can be placed together along one piece of wood attached to the notice boards. Action BG

7. Diary for Coming Year

Dates to be e-mailed to us. Action BG

8. A.O.B.

Thanks were given to DW for dealing with the notice boards. It was noted that these were in need of a new coat of varnish which could be done during the summer.

DMac said that it was not a good idea to publish an individual’s address on the website which is viewed worldwide. This was agreed by all. BG felt that her initial planning e-mail prior to our sessions does not need to be posted on the website, although any photos or news after the sessions could be. Thanks were given to Donald for his work on our website.

9. Date of Next meeting

Thursday 4th September 2014. Venue t.b.a.


Friends of Carpenters Wood

Committee Meeting

Thursday 13 September 2012 1.30 pm

at 28 Carpenters Wood Drive

        Present: Barbara Green – Chair, Stephen Ramsay – Treasurer, Lesley Edwards – Secretary,

        Frank Mahon-Daly, Pam Ferrar, Dorothy Freedman, Tony Edwards, Fiona Underhill (CMS)

1. Apologies for Absence:     Donald MacLean, David Walker, Michael Hyde, Andrew York

2. Minutes of Last Meeting:  Agreed.

3. Matters Arising:

· Equipment

BG has purchased one new 21inch Saw and a selection of new blades for saws, a short Grass Hook, a long Brushing Hook, a steel Timber Wedge, a couple of sharpening tools and a selection of protective gloves and glasses.  SR purchased a Mattock.  BG still to purchase a couple of small loppers.  As we have more members in our group we need to have sufficient equipment. Action BG

· Notice Board

The boards need revitalising. The key is held by DW who has taken over responsibility for these.  Timetable has expired and we need to update this.    Action TE in DW’s absence.

· Russell School Involvement

BG has not progressed this item.  Any walks or activities would have to take place out of school hours because of school curriculum restrictions and all participants would need to be CRB checked.

4. Treasurer’s Report

There remains a healthy balance in the account mainly due to the Parish Quiz Evenings which have generated £600 in total, with another Quiz due this November.  New expenditure on tools was £249.87.  Thanks given to SR for keeping the accounts in order. (Cups of tea and glasses of wine much appreciated also!)

5. Progress of Volunteers Group

A good six months with few missed sessions and this year’s sessions carried on throughout the summer months which we all felt was beneficial. Because of the heavy rainfall earlier this summer the footpaths have become very overgrown but we have managed to keep the main paths clear.

BG was pleased to report that we had two new volunteers since March – Andrew York and Michael Hyde - and we welcome their contribution to the Group.

BG feels we have achieved a lot this year although SR feels our back-up from TRDC is not as forthcoming as it should be.  BG feels that a lot of effort and energy has been put into Oxhey Woods recently and because Alex and CMS have been concentrating on this FoCW have been neglected. We do need support with planning and help with larger projects which require the use of power tools.  FU (CMS) offered to draw up a timetable of practical sessions based on the 5 Year Plan which would help us to know what we were aiming to achieve each year.  FU also said it was possible for CMS to add to our workforce for larger projects if we give them notice.  This would ensure that tasks set out for the volunteer group in the 5 Year Plan are achieved appropriately. Action FU

We have three volunteers who have completed a First Aid Course.  BG, FM and SR would like to renew their certificates.  FU said it may be possible to provide a course locally for us if there are sufficient numbers (there may be other groups in Chorleywood who also need First Aid training).  Action FU

FU asked if there was any publicity or help with events, walks etc. that we want to organise.  FU could arrange for this to be included on their website.

6. 5 Year Plan

· BG had previously e-mailed TRDC and CMS with a list of tasks the Group felt needed to be included in the 5 Year Plan.

· SR felt the plan was not specific enough in relation to what was expected from volunteers as opposed to TRDC or CMS.

FU commented in relation to this:-

· Glade clearance – It was felt that this should be carried out on a rotational basis.  It would be impossible for the Group to keep all of the glades clear all of the time.

· Ride management (one side at a time) carried out over two years. SR felt that this was not achievable and would be too much for the Group to manage in ten sessions.  FU said that volunteers could be brought in to work alongside us.

· SR mentioned that the thinning of silver birch had encouraged the brambles to grow into this area because they have the room and light to do so and he was not sure if the ecological impact had been taken into account.  FU said that it is part of a cycle but she did see the point.

· TE suggested that Glade 4 be kept perpetually cleared for possible school party visits.

· Whitelands Avenue entrance: This has been discussed on previous occasions; the pathway here is steep and is very slippery in wet and icy weather. On a recent walk with Alex (CMS) it was suggested that log steps or similar might be the answer but this was a job that needed expert guidance.  BG said that to improve the main entrance would have a major impact on accessibility. It was suggested this could be a joint venture with the Friends group assisting.  The Group would like this included in the Plan. Action FU

· Ride management: Wooden barriers are necessary to prevent horse riders from straying on to footpaths. BG has received an e-mail complaint from a walker regarding cyclists using the footpaths; they do have the bridleways to cycle on.  The erection of barriers would at least slow cyclists down.  Other comments have been received about the need for horse barriers to be repaired or replaced.  We need to decide where these barriers are best placed.  The issue “use of footpaths” has been brought up time and again.  BG stated that the erection of horse barriers was more of a priority than additional wooden benches and should be given financial priority in the 5 Year Plan. Action FU

· New footpath and bridleway signage is also needed in the Woodland as many of the signs are absent or not fit for purpose.

· The thinning of Holly and Laurel is ongoing.  There is still a quantity of Laurel to be cleared along Carpenters Wood footpath towards field edge.  Laurel and Holly has been treated over the last year but this will also need to continue.

· Larch removal: Hillas has been thinned but a lot of “scrub” still remains on the floor.  The Group are keen to clear an area of this to see if we can help speed regeneration.  BG said that there should be more thinning of Larch – especially in Carpenters Wood where it is dense and dark. FU said that they were aware of this but further Larch removal had to be cost-neutral.  This means that, unless a contractor can be found who is prepared to fell the Larch at no cost to the Council, further felling is unlikely to happen.  As to the Larch log pile at the Farm Gate/Hillas entrance, little seems to be happening at present but a local resident has expressed an interest in using some of it for a small scale project.  This is under discussion.  BG asked that the Group are kept informed as to progress with this.

· Hornbeam hedges:  These need to be expertly dealt with as the Group is not qualified to deal with this project.  DW has asked for training in coppicing and hedge layering.  CMS agreed to progress this work as part of the 5 Year Plan.

· A local resident had commented that the Bye Laws should be displayed in the wood.

· SR asked FU if there were any tools that we could have on loan from CMS.  FU said that we were welcome to borrow tools; it was a question of collection and return.

· BG said that we were generally happy with the 5 Year Plan, it just needed a little fine tuning.  The Group will do as much as it can but if we can have machines on loan it will make our work a lot easier and less labour intensive.

· BG raised the point of detailed mapping of the woodland including archaeological features.  FU agreed to provide us with large copies of the woodland map so that we can start to name various paths etc.  FU to e-mail SR with the map. Action FU

  • 7.  Diary for the coming year
  • Discussion ensued regarding the possible change of day for our mid-week sessions.  It was agreed to stay with first Thursdays for the next year.  The new diary was outlined and dates are now available on the website and on the notice-boards.

    Lib Dems are holding a Quiz Evening on Saturday 13th October and BG asked if the Friends would like to make up a table.

    The Parish Council Charity Quiz Night is on Saturday 24th November and we would like to make up a table of 8 members/partners. We receive £350 from attending this event.

    8. Any Other Business         None.

    9. Date of Next Meeting      4th April, 2013 at t.b.a.

    Meeting ended at 4 pm.


    Dear Friends,

    Many thanks to all of you who turned up for our walk in the woods with Alex from CMS (Countryside Management Services).

    It was the most perfect morning for a walk and the discussion was wide-ranging and very helpful.  The main points for the 5 Year Plan which I gleaned from the walk are summarised as follows:

    Whitelands Avenue entrance - possible new entrance feature, removal of unnecessary posts,

    possible redesign of barrier onto pavement, re-siting of bins and fly-tipping sign,

    consideration to be given to creating natural 'steps' to improve access.

    2. Laurel - follow-up treatment needed.

    3. Holly - large trees to be marked for removal by CMS/TRDC

    4. Selective Thinning of Broadleaved trees - further discussion needed depending upon feasibility/cost.

    5. Path Clearance - paths to be cleared on alternate sides yearly.  Some open clearings to be created along the paths to enable more vistas into the woodland.

    6. Farm Gate Entrance - possible new entrance feature, better signage needed to make clear where the bridleways are, possible re-siting of bins and notice boards.

    7. Hornbeam restoration - specialist input from CMS is needed to reduce the size of ancient Hornbeam to preserve them for the future.

    8. Hillas Larch - further selective thinning is required, patch clearing may be helpful to improve regeneration.

    9. Barrel Arch - removal of unwanted posts, clearer signage for bridleways.

    10. Signage - the present footpath and bridleway signage is out-dated and unclear and needs to be replaced with regulation signage.

    This is not an exhaustive list, other items may appear on the 5 Year Plan.

    Our next session will be on 13th September at 10.00am and will be followed at 1.30pm by our Committee Meeting when the 5 Year Plan will be finalised.

    Below is a photo of the walk.

    There will be a Committee Meeting following the work session on September 13th - for information please email me.

    Best wishes,



    Dear Friends,

    Just a reminder about the Guided Walk on Saturday.  Please meet at the Whitelands Avenue entrance into the Woodland * at 10.00am.  This is your opportunity to meet CMS personnel and to have your say about the new Management Plan which is currently being drawn up - see below.  Bring along anyone who might be interested in the future of our local Woodland.

    Look forward to seeing you on Saturday.

    Best wishes,


    Chairman, Friends of Carpenters Wood



    Dear Friends,

    I have just received the Draft Plan for Carpenters Wood.  Have a look at it and please feel free to pass any suggestions you have to Alex Laurie at CMS.

    There is a Walkabout to discuss the Plan on Saturday, 18th August at 10.00am in the Woodland.  However, you can let Alex know your views at any time.



    From: Alex Laurie <Alex.Laurie@hertscc.gov.uk>
    Sent: Tuesday, 31 July 2012, 14:09
    Subject: Carpenters Wood Management Plan 2012-17

    Dear Stakeholder,

    Attached is a draft copy of the next Carpenters Wood management plan 2012 - 2017, which is currently being produced by Countryside Management Service (CMS) in partnership with Three Rivers District Council (TRDC).

    We are conducting a six week period of consultation starting on Tuesday 31st July until Friday 14th September 2012, during which time we would welcome comments on future management of Carpenters Wood.

    On Saturday 18th August there will be a guided walk of Carpenters Wood, starting at 10am, meet at the entrance to the wood on Whitelands Avenue.  The walk will be an opportunity to find out more about the plan and put forward ideas on future management of the wood.

    If you would like to submit ideas on future management or have any queries regarding the plan, please don’t hesitate to contact Alex Laurie at CMS, alex.laurie@hertscc.gov.uk or at CMS, The Old Dairy, Bedford Road, Ickleford, Hitchin.  01462 459 395.

    Kind Regards,

    Alex Laurie

    Projects Officer - Countryside Management Service (CMS)

    The Old Dairy, Bedford Road, Hitchin  SG5 3RR

    Tel - 01462 459395   Comnet - 46820    postal point - CHN107

    www.hertslink.org/cms        www.facebook.com/hertscms        www.twitter.com/hertscms


    Dear Friends,

    Sorry I missed Saturday's woodland session but hope it all went well.  I am forwarding some training opportunities from CMS below.  If you are interested, please contact Alex on his email alex.laurie@hertscc.gov.uk

    We are also looking to run a walk in the summer to talk through the options for the 5 Year Plan in the woodland 'on site' as it were.  I will let you know the date shortly.



    From: Alex Laurie <Alex.Laurie@hertscc.gov.uk>
    Sent: Wednesday, 23 May 2012, 16:17
    Subject: CMS training update

    Hi all,

    There are still places available on the forthcoming training events (see below), also take a look at walks & more for other events taking place over the next few months.


    Woodland Management training, Thursday 14th June

    The training will run from 10am until about 4pm at Broxbourne Woods NNR, nr Hertford. After a presentation during the morning, the afternoon will be spent in Broxbourne Woods looking at a range of management works that have been taking place on this site over a number of years. Part of the session will take place outdoors, please bring warm, waterproof clothing and suitable footwear. Participants should also bring a packed lunch. Places are limited so please email Ciaran Mullan at: ciaran.mullan@hertscc.gov.uk if you wish to attend.

    Family Butterfly walk, Tuesday 24th July

    Starts 1:30pm until 3:30pm. Meet at the main car park at the junction of Oxhey Drive and Prestwick Road. Learn about some of the impressive species of butterfly and other wildlife that flourishes in this important woodland site. We will follow the course of some of the main rides through the wood, whilst you will learn how the site is being managed to increase biodiversity.

    Identifying and Recording Veteran Trees, Thursday 16th August

    This is an all day event from 10am to 3pm, starting at South Oxhey Library and with a visit to Oxhey Woods LNR in the afternoon. Places on this event are limited, to book a space please go to: www.hertsdirect.org/walksandmore

    From there, click on 'view the events online' click on the event, scroll to the bottom of the page, click on the 'book a place' tab, fill in your details and submit.

    An introduction to Bats and their Identification, Saturday 25th August

    Training will take place at a venue in the vicinity of South Oxhey (details to be TBC) and will run from 1pm-5pm -The event will provide an introduction to bats and related issues with tuition on how to identify bats in the field. There will also be an opportunity for further practice with bat detectors at an evening event planned for Rickmansworth Aquadrome start time 8pm.

    Kind Regards

    Alex Laurie

    Projects Officer - Countryside Management Service (CMS)

    Countryside Management Service (CMS)

    www.hertslink.org/cms      www.facebook.com/hertscms



    Dear Friends,

    I am forwarding a list of issues raised at our committee meetings which will inform the new 5 year plan for the woodland. This list will be forwarded shortly to Three Rivers and to the Countryside Management Service for consideration in drawing up the new plan. If there are any other issues you would like to add, please let me know in the next week or so, so that they can be included in the list.

    best wishes,

    Barbara Green                                        

    Chairman of FOCW


    Dear Friends,

    Herewith minutes of our meeting on 1st March.  It was a very useful meeting, as you will see from the discussions.  I will be forwarding a list of Actions to be considered for the new 5 Year Plan in due course.  I will also post these on our notice boards in the woods.  Our next session is Saturday 24th March.

    Best Wishes,


    On 11th/12th May 2011 a work-party of the Friends prepared the four corners of the central

    crossroads of the village and planted new shrubs, receiving praise and thanks from shoppers.

    Photos by Tony Edwards

    Volunteers (and adviser) planning ahead
    after a morning's work




    *  *  *      BARBARA'S BULLETINS      *  *  *

    Other email messages (for reference by Friends) from Chair of the Friends, Barbara Green


    Work parties usually meet at 10am on the first
    Thursday and the third Saturday of each month

    Friends of Carpenters Wood

    Issues Raised at Committee meetings of FOCW

    New 5 Year Plan, 2012 - 2017

    We are now at the end of the present 5 Year Plan and talks will be initiated with TRDC and CMS in Spring/Summer 2012 for the next Plan to be put in place. A number of things were mentioned as follows,

      • A small number of mature beech trees may be considered for removal to allow regeneration by creating gaps in the dense canopy. This would have to be well managed as it could be hugely unpopular locally.

    Wooden Barriers for footpaths to prevent horse riders from using public footpaths was something FOCW wanted to be included in the plan.

    More thinning of Larch to be included. Discussion about Larch brash removal was also needed.

    The hedging alongside the Larch plantation in Hillas Wood, running parallel to the farm track, to be replaced with new planting or fencing.

    Possible stepping at Whitelands entrance which is slippery in winter. Informal stepping such as logs could be appropriate.

    Spraying of Holly and Laurel stumps – ongoing.

    Continue with Holly and Laurel removal. Any trees too large for volunteers to fell to be marked by Friends with spray paint so they can be identified by TRDC/CMS for removal by them.

      • Dog fouling notice on or near notice boards.
      • The Hornbeam along the edges of the wood needed re-coppicing. Some are too high for Friends to manage, and as they form part of the ancient woodland we should seek expert advice.
      • There are a few odd poles/stakes in various positions that are not serving any purpose. These to be removed.
      • More Silver Birch to be removed – the Friends have already started on this but larger trees will need TRDC help.

    The question of regeneration by re-planting needs to be raised, particularly in those areas where large trees are removed

    Bramble removal from central area of the woodland to allow regeneration.

      • Log Piles from Larch felling in 2011 need removing.



    Dear Friends,

    Attached (below) are the minutes of our last Committee meeting on 1st September 2011.  I hope these are clear but if you have any queries, or suggestions, please email me.

    best wishes,



    Friends of Carpenters Wood

    Committee Meeting

    Thursday 1st September 2011

    1.30 pm at

    84 Whitelands Avenue, Chorleywood


    Present: Barbara Green – Chair, Barbara Christie, Fiona Lean, David Walker, Lesley Edwards (Secretary).

    1. Apologies for Absence

      Stephen Ramsay, Donald MacLean, Pam Ferrar, Tony Edwards

      We welcomed David Walker as a new volunteer.


    2. Minutes of Last Meeting



    3. Matters Arising

    BG undertook discussions with TRDC and subsequently with the resident concerned (page 2, item 4 of last minutes). The outcome of this meeting was amicable and nothing further has been reported.

    BG and FL met up with the contractor whom Alex (CMS) had contracted to spray the Holly and Laurel stumps as they were sprouting rapidly.  He was shown the area concerned and as far as BG is aware this has been done.  BG will contact Alex to check on the position. Action BG

    This has been removed and taken away.

    This path can be very wet and muddy. BC said that TE had suggested using the chippings from tree felling in the woods to try and resolve the problem.  FL said that if there were an accident as a result of this we could be liable.  If chippings are available they could be used but the steep slope of the bank would prevent any more radical improvements being made. The general opinion was that there wasn’t much we could do about this problem.

    Unfortunately this was a non event for FoCW due to lack of volunteers to run the stall.  It was agreed by all that fundraising is not our priority but to raise awareness of the existence of the group and to recruit new volunteers.

    BC reported the fact that tree houses/dens had been erected in the wood and this was against the bye-laws.  However, most agreed that we should not discourage youngsters from enjoying the woods provided this did not put themselves or the woodland in danger.

    4. Treasurer’s Report

    Due to SR’s absence no report was tabled, but due to lack of expenditure since last meeting it was thought to be about the same as last reported.

    5. Report on progress of volunteer group

    BG said that it was probably our worst year ever for cancelled meetings due to inclement weather conditions.  Not much progress was made during the winter snow and late spring/early summer rains; four attempts were made to treat the new notice boards, which have now been done.  A large amount of invasive Holly and Laurel has been removed over the last year and thinning of the Birch plantation is ongoing  It was a good year in that TRDC fulfilled their promises to thin the Ash and the Larch and both these jobs were carried out well.  The resulting Larch log piles at Hillas are still there - apparently due to a dispute with the removal company.  BG walked around the wood with Julie Hughes and Alex in July to discuss future plans (outlined below).  Membership has stayed pretty constant with two new members joining this September.

    6 Review of 5 Year Plan

    So far as the 5-Year Plan was concerned, BG said that we were up to date with this.  We are at the end of the present 5-Year Plan now and talks will be initiated with TRDC and CMS in January 2012 for the next Plan, and discussed at our March meeting.  BC asked who was responsible for the plan.  BG said that TRDC were responsible – Alex (CMS) would draw up the plan in collaboration with TRDC and FOCW.  A number of things were mentioned as follows:

    BG said that we have achieved a great deal in four years and, importantly, have stirred TRDC into doing their bit!

    BC wants a letter sent to TRDC (Julie Hughes) complaining of the disgraceful mess and quality of workmanship in the wood at the back of her garden.  BG suggested that BC write to them.  Action BC

    7. Notice Boards:

    No Byelaws on notice boards as yet.  BG suggested that as these bye laws were lengthy perhaps a précis would be more appropriate.  BC asked BG to approach Sally Evans to prepare these.  DW said that this could in fact make them lengthier and would anyone read them anyway?  BG suggested that BC try to précis them herself, preferably one page long.  Action BC

    8. Events

    Parish Council Quiz Evening 26th November. T & L E to arrange a table.

    Lib Dem Quiz 15th October.  Question of table for FoCW.  Any volunteers?  BG is organising the event

    9. AOB

    BG thanked Donald (in his absence) for his continued help with the Website.

    Next meeting Thursday 1 March 2012, venue tba.

    Meeting closed at 3.45 pm.



    Dear Friends,

    For the Minutes of the latest meeting of the Friends of Carpenters Wood
    click here(may run Adobe reader).

    With regards,



    Dear Friends,

    Just thought I would send you a photo of the Late Night Evening - attached (thanks Stephen)!

    As you may know, we are scheduled for major thinning works in the two Larch plantations in Hillas and Carpenters Woods in January.  Three Rivers have commissioned a logging company to do the work, and they are currently undertaking the same work in Bishops Wood, which is the woodland area opposite the Green Man pub, between the A404 and White Hill in Rickmansworth, if you are interested to see it for yourself.  Late-Night 2010

    I visited Bishops Wood with Daniel Monk and officers from Three Rivers today to get some idea of what impact this will have in our woodland.  The machinery is substantial and obviously, as a result, the woodland does look a bit of a mess and the tracks and bridleways do get churned up during the operation.  Because of this TRDC will be undertaking a leaflet drop about our thinning in Carpenters Wood to let local residents know what is happening, and I have offered the services of the Friends Group to deliver some of these. 

    However, experience from similar works in other woodlands in the District show fairly rapid recovery of the area once the work is completed.  You can view some photos of the work in Bishops Wood on the TRDC website to get some idea of what is involved, click on Bishops Wood on the front page.

    This thinning work is long overdue and is essential to help return our woodland to its natural state, allowing the indigenous broadleaf trees to grow up in place of the Larch.

    Next week we will also be having a look at the Ash plantation near the barrel arch which has been due for thinning for some years now.  It is hoped that work can also go ahead on this area soon, but I will let you know how the meeting goes next week.

    We have one more volunteer session before Xmas, which is Saturday 18th December - I hope the weather allows us to get out!

    If I don't see you, have a lovely Christmas and New Year.

    with best wishes,



    Dear Friends,

    Attached are the minutes from our Committee Meeting which took place on Thursday afternoon, after our first volunteer session of the Autumn.  Our numbers seem to have dwindled over the summer, so only three (and a half with Tony and his poorly shoulder!) turned up on Thursday.  It was a glorious morning and we tackled a small patch of holly and made a noticeable impact, which was gratifying.  Tony used the strimmer along some of the paths which are beginning to get overgrown. Please take time to read the minutes if you can, as a number of important points were raised. I will be keeping you informed of any developments particularly in relation to TRDC involvement.

    Please come back to us, all our usual volunteers!  And any new ones out there.  We need you!

    With kind regards,


    Treasurer's Report 2010


    Explanation of the Group

    Friends of Carpenters Wood are a friendly and enthusiastic group of people, who give time when we can to help maintain and enhance the Woods for the enjoyment of all.  Living, as many of us do, within easy reach of the Woods, we have learnt to value the benefits this special area provides – a beautiful, tranquil place to walk and sit, a place for children to play freely, and a marvellous haven for wildlife of all sorts.


    Spacious Carpenters Wood


    So how did ‘The Friends’ come about and where do we fit in?

    Carpenters Wood, which is an ancient wood, at least 400 years old, is owned by Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) who, with the help of the Countryside Management Service (CMS), manage and maintain it for the community.

    Over recent years local residents became aware that some of the routine maintenance tasks were not really happening as frequently as they might, with the result that the Wood was beginning to suffer. Litter was beginning to accumulate, invasive plants like holly and laurel were taking over large swathes of the Wood, and pathways were becoming overgrown.

    A flyer, raising the idea of a Friends Group, was produced and delivered to most of the houses closest to the Woods, and a subsequent meeting saw over 40 people attend! From this initial meeting, and with the help of CMS, our first volunteer sessions were set up. Tools were provided by CMS and one of their expert woodland officers, Martin O’Connor, came along to each of our sessions to guide, inform and train us in the necessary skills.

    Training courses are available through CMS and a number of us now have been given essential First Aid training. Later this year two of the regular guys will be receiving specific training on brush-cutter equipment – we are not allowed to use any power tools such as chain saws – only CMS or TRDC specially trained staff are allowed to use these. With the help of a Grant, which we bid for and won at the Local Area Forum, we will soon be buying our own tools.

    And this is what we have been doing!

    Our Friends Group started its first volunteer sessions in July 2008, and we have met twice a month since. We meet every first Thursday and every third Saturday in the month – alternating from weekdays to weekends gives both those who work full-time and those of us who are ‘retired’ a chance to participate. Volunteers come when they can, and we generally have between 6 -12 of us at each session.

    Over the last 9 months we have tackled some fairly major work in the Wood. Most of the Autumn was taken up by holly removal. A number of the footpaths had become overgrown with holly which, not only obscured many of the glorious views across surrounding fields and meadows, but also made the pathways dark and gloomy, and a bit ‘spooky’ for solitary walkers. Also the density of the holly meant that the footpaths were in permanent shade and therefore remained wet and muddy throughout most of the year. Removal of this holly along many of the footpaths, which is part of the CMS/TRDC management strategy for the Wood, has transformed these woodland walks. The sunshine now filters down through the lovely Beech trees and the views are wonderful!

    More recently we have been marshalling our efforts into thinning out an area of Birch trees which have grown tall and spindly and very close together. This will, hopefully, encourage the Beech saplings planted in the area to grow, and will allow some regeneration of the woodland floor. Maybe even bluebells will start to appear there! In the Spring there is a carpet of glorious bluebells throughout Whitelands Wood, it would be good if these could be encouraged in other parts of the Wood. Maybe we will try some bluebell seed collecting and sowing and see if we can help them along!

    Path in Carpenters Wood

    Photos: Donald MacLean

    For several sessions in early September we concentrated on creating a clearing off the main bridleway which we subsequently named ‘Beech Glade’. This area, which is surrounded by huge and magnificent beech trees, was waist high with bracken and was completely inaccessible. Now there is a small, sunny clearing, with a tree-trunk bench (which took much effort from Martin and his chainsaw!), where walkers can pause and enjoy the moment. This is also a brilliant place for picnicking – in fact we intend to hold our next Committee Meeting in Beech Glade in September!

    That brings me to Committee Meetings!

    Because the main aim of our Friends Group was to get out into the Woods and do ‘hands-on’ stuff, we did not want to get too bogged down with lots of committee meetings. However, we realised that we needed to be guided by CMS and TRDC and that our contribution needed to fit with the 5 Year Management Plan which TRDC set out for the woodland. So, we only have two Committee meetings a year, one in March and one in September.

    However, we have drawn up a proper Constitution and have appointed a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary. This level of formality is necessary since, if we want to apply for Grants from TRDC or any other source, we need to supply evidence of a proper Committee structure, with minuted meetings, audited accounts and a written Constitution.

    Our Latest Achievements.

    Just recently we have been concentrating on creating this Web site, and producing an information leaflet for distribution locally. The aim of both of these things is to spread the word about our lovely Woods to other local people, as well as to those who are not so local, but may be interested in what we are doing.

    We are also in the process of organising guided walks through the Wood. The first of these aimed at showing off the bluebells, should be organised soon (watch this space!) and we have other ideas for evening Bat walks and Autumn toadstool walks as well.

    Contact Us!

    If you would like to join us as a Friend, please email me at barbara.green@threerivers.gov.uk. We would be delighted to have you along – we are a friendly bunch of amateurs, so no special skills are necessary!

    In order to raise money to cover some of our costs, for replacement tools, courses, administration, etc. we are asking for a small voluntary donation of £5 per annum from those of you who would like to support our work but are unable to get involved with our volunteer sessions. If you would like to contribute to our friends group this way you can download a standing order mandate (below).  All the money received will be used to benefit the Woodland – no trips to the Caribbean planned!

    Watch this page for regular updates on work carried out and up-coming events.

    Councillor Barbara Green
    Chairman, Friends of Carpenters Wood

    Illustrated report on the ecology

    by Martin O'Connor AIEEM of the Countryside Management Service

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    New Friend!

    It's not unusual to see (or hear the strange bark of) Muntjac Deer in Carpenters Wood
     but on May 16th 2009 Tony Edwards came upon a young Roe Deer near the Farm Road entry.

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    Listen to the sounds of Carpenters Wood

    Typical Working Parties

    of Friends of Carpenters Wood

    (With expert help)

    7th May 2009

    Bonfire group 02
    Bonfire - general group 01

    May pictures by Donald MacLean

    5 year (to 2012) Action Plan

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    10 September 2009

    04 March 2010

    02 September 2010

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    Chilterns Newsletter
    June 2009

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    Email Us

    Standing Order Mandate

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    Related web sites

    Chilterns Conservation Board

    Chorleywood House Estate

    Friends of Chorleywood Common

    18 woodlands in Three Rivers District

    Information on Chorleywood

    "The best hometown in UK"

    Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty



    The Friends of Carpenters Wood

    The Name

    The name of the group is The Friends of Carpenters Wood.


    Carpenters Wood comprises three woodland areas known as Hillas Wood, Whitelands Wood and Carpenters Wood. It is a 22.8 hectare mixed woodland situated within the Parish of Chorleywood in Hertfordshire and is within the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The site is owned by Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) and is a designated Wildlife Site.


    To enhance and improve Carpenters Wood, and to conserve it for future generations.

    To involve local people in the enjoyment and maintenance of the Woodland.

    To promote public awareness of the Woodland by means of publicity, volunteer groups, local events, and liaison with interested organisations.

    To assist, advise and support TRDC in drawing up management plans for the Woodland.

    To apply for grants from relevant organisations to fund the above.


    Membership shall be open to anyone interested in taking an active part in the work and aims of the group.

    The affairs of the group will be controlled by a Committee elected on an annual basis from and by the members of the group.

    The group will meet at least twice a year to discuss its activities, and all members will be entitled to attend.

    The group will work in partnership with appropriate officers of TRDC and Countryside Management Services (CMS).

    The group will operate an equal opportunities policy.


    Any funds shall be held by an elected Treasurer, submitted for independent inspection and approved at the AGM.

    All funds shall be paid into an account in the name of The Friends of Carpenters Wood.

    Any cheques drawn on the account, or financial obligations entered into, will need the signature of the Treasurer and one other Committee Member.

    The Treasurer will keep a record of all transactions and will present an Annual Report.

    If the group ceases to exist, any monies in the account shall go to a registered charity.


    The group shall have Personal Accident Insurance for its volunteers, and Public Liability Insurance. All members of the group shall, through their actions, ensure the health and safety of others.

    Alterations to the Constitution

    Alterations to the Constitution shall only be made with the consent of a majority of the members of the group.

    Email Us

    Webmaster: Donald MacLean

    Site updated 30 April 2014