Tillingham Woodland Interest Group.



New s-hoots!!




This page will be where you can read odd snippets of news about the group, about other groups, environmental projects and similar news.  Hopefully all accurate and up to date as well. But there may be a few scurrilous ones in there for fun too!   We will be adding to the top of this page every week or so, scroll down to see previous entries, all dated.


February 2013.

After a long delay trying to close the TWIG account we eventually were able to send the closing balance to the Green light trust, plus a cheque from John to cover the petty cash held.  A total of £1,672.15p has been donated away from the village, sadly, but it will now be used to plant trees, outside the village.

We have a small number of trees grown by enthusiasts that will be planted locally where ever we can obtain permission, but it is a small number.  Sadly Tillingham is likely to remain one of the areas of Essex most  devoid of trees for the foreseeable future.

Below is the thankyou letter from the Green light trust.


John Williams.

December 5th 2012.

Twig was officially dissolved at our annual Meeting last night.

For ten years a small but dedicated group of local enthusiasts supported by hundreds of local people of all ages,  have sought to plant trees in this part of Essex.  From the start  we had  opposition from one person and used his 'influence' to persuade others not to support us.  This has meant no planting site has been made available, not even for hedgerow trees and the three sites that were originally planned have been thwarted.

Last night at the Annual Meeting in Tillingham, the assembled members voted to dissolve the group and to donate the money donated, almost £1700.00 to the Green light Trust.  We had toyed with the idea of using £1,000 of the funds to plant a hedge, but it was felt that there would be no support for this.  After all the money had been donated for Tree planting in an area where so few trees have actually been planted.

Today I have spoken to the Green Light Trust informing them of the decision and though pleased to be the beneficiaries, they were saddened that TWIG had been prevented from doing what so many hundreds in the community wished to do.

In the next months the bank account will be closed and the money presented to the GLT.  the full accounts to date will be published here as they were approved last night.

Over the 10 years that the group has been in existence as the St. Paul's Wood project Team and latterly as TWIG, we have gathered seeds and planted them with the local children, again with them we have planted a hedge round the school playground and another round the churchyard extension.  We have planted hundreds of hedgerow plants round the Mayland playing field and hundreds of trees there too, many in the 'John Thrumble Wood'.  We have donated many of our locally grown trees to this and other local projects.  At the Tillingham Flower Show we have donated away many dozens of trees for local people with large plots to grow on.   A couple of local farmers have allowed some planting in hedgerows, or to be more precise , where hedgerows used to exist....

Overall TWIG has contributed greatly to the bio diversity and amenity value  of the area.  It has not all been bad news.

I must thank all the supporters of TWIG, all the members of the Steering Group, past and present for their assistance and encouragement, but the time has come to bow out.

Sadly until there is a major change in this village it will be condemned to remain the most barren part of Essex.

John Williams

signing off as Chair of TWIG.


Minutes of Twig 7th annual Meeting.

December 4th 2011.

Congregational Hall, South St. Tillingham.

Meeting Chaired by John Williams. Meeting opened 2015.

Attending Darian, Andy, John, Bridget.

1. Apologies. Phil Easby.

Adopt minutes of the last Annual Meeting. Proposed by Bridget, seconded Andy.

2. Update, there was no further progress on the woodland project.

3. The dissolution of Twig. As there had been no responses to the plea to landowners for a suitable tree planting site, and just one from Mr and Mrs Cooper, who were planning a hedge, but sadly could not plant trees in it as there was a low overhead cable. We discussed the possibility of adopting the hedge plan, but there were two snags, first that the money had been specifically donated for ‘tree planting’ and second as the enthusiasm of members of Twig had been so badly damaged by the actions of the parish councillor, it was felt few would help.

4. Instead it was moved to dissolve Twig and donate the money raised to the organisation that had given us so much help and who had established dozens of woodland projects in East Anglia. The Green Light Trust. Passed unanimously.

5. Accounts for approval. Darian submitted the accounts. Brought forward, from 2011 £1658.00, with donations and interest the monies now stood at £1700.10. There was one bill outstanding, the cost of the renewal of the web hosting. Reimbursement of £26.99 to John was approved unanimously. Darian said she would organise the winding up of the account and the handover of all remaining funds to the GLT.

6. The website would be kept up and running to inform members of the decision to dissolve.

7. No Election and No other business. So the meeting closed at 2045.



October 16th 2012.

Tillingham Woodland Interest Group




It is now nearly 10 years since the idea of a Tillingham Community Woodland was raised. The ‘St. Paul’s Wood’. Due to opposition from one quarter, it has been prevented, despite support from many hundreds of local people and of St. Paul’s. We are the only group, out of 29, started at the same time in East Anglia, to have had such opposition; all the other groups now have thriving community woodlands, enjoyed by all. Since then many other regional woodland creation projects have planted. (Trafalgar and Jubilee Woods etc.). They are all real assets to their communities and have made their communities stronger.

The local ‘opposition’ has not prevented us growing and planting trees and hedgerow plants, wherever we can get permission, replacing ones destroyed by mowing etc. Sadly though, the planting has not always been in Tillingham. On the Dengie, we have, as a group of volunteers, planted in excess of a thousand….

We are now making a last plea, for any land owners that may have a small area of woodland near the village, that needs replanting, or who are contemplating a tree or hedgerow replacement scheme, to please contact us.

We have reached an impasse, unless someone comes up with a suitable site to allow the planting of trees, all the funds donated for tree planting are to be donated away from the village to a planting trust, so they may be used for the purpose intended, tree planting. At our next annual meeting, December, see website for date, we will vote to do this, unless, in the meantime, we find a suitable local site.

John Williams,

Chair of TWIG



Annual Meeting date Tuesday 4th December 2012.

8pm Congregational Hall, South Street, Tillingham.

 members signed up for at least a year have a vote, use it.

provisional agenda,  as follows,

1.    Apologies and adoption of minutes of last year

2. Update on possible tree planting sites..

3. Dissolution of TWIG

4. Transfer of TWIG funds to GLT.

5. Accounts

6.     Website

7.     Election of Steering Group, or dissolution of TWIG

8. Any other business. 


If you wish to volunteer or nominate anyone for a post please contact us 7 days prior to the meeting.


 contact us on  778859

John Williams.  Chair of  TWIG




The Steering Group have been discussing the constitution and after a long deliberation it has been re written. Basically the constitution s

had elements in it referring to organisations we were not linked with any longer, MDC. At the same time we have opted to broaden the aims to include the planting of hedgerows and hedgerow trees as it is apparent that the woodland project will be on hold for a long time, till there is a wind of change on the parish and district councils.

The steering group has been re elected much as before. Chair still John Williams 778859.

We have renewed this website and intend to hold our Annual Meeting on  Tuesday 6th December...



Annual Meeting date Tuesday 6th December 2011.

Please contact the Chair of Twig for location and amendments to agenda.



  1.   Apologies. 

  2.  Adopt minutes of previous annual meeting and Matters arising 

 3.   update.

 4.    new aims

 5.    Accounts for approval. 

6.     Election of Steering Group,   

 6    Recent Events, Activities, website 

 7.   Events for 2012?  Suggested: - the Bluebell Walk and Flower Show  

 8.   Any other urgent business 

       Close of meeting 


If you wish to volunteer or nominate anyone for a post please contact us 7 days prior to the meeting.


For more contact us on  778859

John Williams.  Chair of  TWIG





Annual Meeting date Tuesday 30th November 2010.

Please contact the Chair of Twig for location and amendments to agenda.



  1.   Apologies. 

  2.  Adopt minutes of previous annual meeting and Matters arising 

 3.   St. Paul’s update.  The Steering Group have voted to change the constitution and it aims to planting trees in hedgerows or wherever we can get permission. It was also suggested the money so far raised should go towards tree planting anywhere locally. 

 4.  Amendment of rules.    Re-writing of the constitution was required removing GLT & MDC from it, the new  draft constitution  is presented for approval. 

 5.    Accounts for approval. 

6.     Election of Steering Group,  (John standing down as chair). 

 6    Recent Events, Activities, website 

 7.   Events for 2012?  Suggested: - the Bluebell Walk and Flower Show  

 8.   Any other urgent business 

       Close of meeting 


If you wish to volunteer or nominate anyone for a post please contact us 7 days prior to the meeting.


For more contact us on  778859

John Williams.  Chair of  TWIG




The St. Paul's Wood project. Spring 2010.

Sadly we have to report that the woodland project has been stalled, the continued opposition from the chair of the unelected local council and the financial situation the MDC have found themselves in, has effectively stalled the project.

St. Paul's and TWIG are still willing to proceed, but St. Paul's insist on a third partner and that partner must be a democratically elected body, thus excluding the parish council who have conveniently never had enough members just before polling day to require a vote, and who co-opt the former members immediately after the election.  St. Paul's see through that one just as we all do.

So although we have the volunteers, the experience of professional members, the promise of all the extra trees to plant the plot and to hedge it, the backing of St. Paul's, unless we can persuade Maldon District Council to get back on board, we just have to sit and wait.  We have waited 8 years so a few more will not hurt, shame though, people could have been enjoying it now, if Mr. Harvey had not swayed the parish council to vote against it all those years ago, when all the legal work was done and just needed finalising....

His behind the scenes letter to St. Paul's opposing it and his claim there were too many trees in the village and he did not want to see the wood on his way to work, give some indication of his public spirit. Misuse of power is more like it... those that heard these statements were astonished.  Many in this village are not, knowing his history.

While this is a blow, it is not the knockout to TWIG.  In the past year alone with the help of the citizens of the future, the local children, we have collected, grown and passed on or planted over 100 trees in the village and in nearby parishes. We continue to teach the children the importance of trees in our environment and are growing hundreds of seeds as a result of last years seed gathering.  We are pleased to be in partnership with the school and local youth groups.

As some of us are away at family events in July and we have no grown trees to give away we will not be at the Tillingham flower show this year, thus at least saving the fee.  (As many commented, we were not trying to grab peoples money but offering information, fun and trees for free, a refreshing change to most stands!)

For the Future.... If you have an area that needs planting we may be able to help and we will be contacting land owners in the area to see if we can plant small pockets of trees to enhance the local environment, even if we cannot create this much wanted and supported, community woodland, yet.  

John Williams

Chair of TWIG.





Bluebell Walk. 2010.

Sunday 9th MAY 10 AM TO 3PM

Once again we are  organising this event and this year open it up to other woodland groups and  are advertising it with other Tree Wardens in the Maldon area to get more takers.  It is a unique opportunity to visit a working woodland in our area, one of a handful still existing. 

Members  of Twig will be on hand to give advice and information.

Come and have an hours walk through this blaze of blue!

You can find 'TWIG' signs on the end of Lodge road where it joins the A414, between Maldon's Morrison's roundabout and the woodham Mortimer roundabouts. Follow the signs to the wood or ring us on  01621 778859 or mobile on the day, 07850 286607.




Tillingham Flower Show  2010.

 We will not be there this year, apart from the fact that we have given all the available trees away, to local people and to pro active parish councils  nearby, (not Tillingham sadly), several of us are away on holidays....  see you another time....


Tree Planting

Saturday 20th February, 2010. Mayland, 10am at the old scout hall. Bakers field. TWIG are assisting Mayland Parish Council planting trees in memory of John Trumble...

Come along and join in, bring a spade and your wellies, Bacon butties for all afterwards!





Notice of 4th Annual Meeting.

Tuesday 1st December at 8pm.

Congregational Church Hall , South Street.

TWIG Supporters are invited to attend..

The agenda, is as follows,

1.    Apologies and adoption of minutes of last year

2. Update on the Woodland Project.

3. Events during year.

4. Future Events

5. Accounts

6.     Website

7.     Election of Steering Group

8. Any other business. 


If you wish to volunteer or nominate anyone for a post please contact us 7 days prior to the meeting.


For more contact us on either 778859 or 778479.

John Williams.  Chair of  TWIG






October 25th 2009

FREE….. You are invited to join us for a walk in



SUNDAY, 25TH OCTOBER, 10am – 3pm.

(Follow small ‘TWIG’ signs on Lodge Rd turning, on the left of the A414 between Maldon’s Morrison’s and Woodham Mortimer Roundabouts).

Come and enjoy a stroll through this normally closed, private woodland in association with TWIG, discover it’s wildlife, see how the wood is managed and charcoal made with the owners, John and Maureen.

On your walk collect seeds, (special bags provided), that you can grow yourself, and or pass to TWIG to help us stock the proposed new community woodland. TWIG members will be on hand to help identify trees and explain their project and help pot up a seed for every child to take away.

Also on hand to answer any questions you may have on planting or caring for trees, will be local arboreal expert Andy Day.

Bring the children, the dog, (on a lead) and your friends for a unique opportunity to enjoy a walk in the woods and support TWIG.

For more contact us on 01621 778859

John Williams. Chair of TWIG


Post script.

over 40 people turned out and many children planted up seeds.  we collected enough seeds to restock the nursery plot with pots.  the weather was kind and even a local radio reported turned out to see what we were doing.  I was later invited to the studios of Saint. FM and we had along interview about our aims ad achievements so far.



July  2009

July 25th saw TWIG once again at the Tillingham Flower show.   This years stand featured a trailer with 100 young trees, that john towed behind his Moggy van in the parade.  The trailer had  a message on the side and as a result many came to see us.


The stand was slightly smaller this year to make room for the trees!  We had displays of leaflets and information from our partners the Green Light Trust and the Woodland Trust.

Andy Day the tree consultant was also on the stand.  Many of the visitors were given the 'What tree did you fall from' information, which never fails to cause amusement!


Just before the show really opened!


We also sold a little BBQ charcoal on the stand courtesy of Hazeleigh Woods.  All in all the show was a good success and a great way of telling all our supporters we are still here, still in conversation about the land, even without our former partners. 

We were often asked why more trees could not be planted locally and why the council were not involved.  Most were amazed at the lack of interest there. We were able to give away about 60 young trees that have been grown by us from the seeds collected by the local children though.  Many of these will be planted in the village, others on the Dengie.  Every year we have to donate away trees that need to be in the ground and really should not stay in pots any longer, but this year, instead of offering them to local friendly parish councils, outside Tillingham, we thought we would offer them to the village, and we are pleased we did.

We will be having our normal seed gathering events again later this year, so in 4 or 5 years time we will have more trees to plant!



June 2009.

At the last minute MDC were persuaded that, due to the financial state they and the country were in they could not back any new nor seemingly existing projects until things improved, so they have backed out of the project!  Had the last minute objection not come from the farmer and his friends, regarding the second plot, of course we would have trees in the ground by now. The objection?  Oh yes some clever person told St. Paul's that the strip along the northern edge of the field would split the field in two and make it difficult to farm.....  how that could be? We cannot  figure it.  Just another attempt to foul things up by the one person who has opposed this from the start. He has publicly declared his opposition to the planting of trees and to seeing the wood on his way to work, what a champion for the village.  Trouble is he is listened to by those who do not know him better.  One day he will get his come-uppance.

Well we thought it had back fired on him when we were offered the larger plot, but the world recession has now stepped in to assist the spoilsports of this world. 

However all is not lost!  St. Paul's are now in discussion with us direct, as we have attained  charitable status.  We can also become, as a charitable organisation, land owners.  So now discussions are on going to see if an agreement can still be reached.

Sadly this means no planting for another year, so we have to concentrate our planting elsewhere.  We are still growing trees and placing them in hedgerows or on land where we are allowed. 

At the forthcoming Tillingham flower Show come along to the stand if you feel you have land with room to plant, and to allow  trees to grow to maturity.  We will have trees to donate.

This Winter many of the 5 or 6ft tall container grown trees that the children have nurtured, will be planted in adjoining parishes, where the Parish councils actually are forward thinking enough to support this sort of venture.  Sad they may not be planted in the children's own village Eh!




April 2009, waiting for MDC.




February 21st 2009

Tree & Shrub Planting.


We have received a grant of 500 trees and shrubs from Essex County Council’s Tree Initiative Fund.  We will be planting these trees on Saturday 21st February at 10.00am meeting in Katonia Avenue car park. 


Refreshments will be provided in the Lawling Park Hall. 


Please come along and help if you can.  If you need any further information please contact the Clerk on 01621 773557  Thank you.


Jenny Rackham
Mayland Parish Council
01621 773557

Come along and join it, last time the bacon butties were superb!


post script. 4 members turned out to plant 15 trees we donated, a load of Mayland people planted more hedging and trees.


Good job done!


November 2008.

Great News, the Charity Commission have granted TWIG 'Charitable Status'!


November 2008.

Report, on the 3rd Annual Meeting


Tillingham Woodland Interest Group.

8.pm. 20th November 2008

In attendance eight members of TWIG , apologies from two members of TWIG and several supporters, (TWIGS.)


The meeting was opened by John Williams at 8.10pm. An update of the general situation to date was given by Peter Garrett of Maldon District Council. Peter explained that St. Paul’s had now proposed a new, larger plot, of some 3 acres, a few yards further down the St. Peters Way. The plot has been surveyed and is ideal, though it is 100 yards further away from the West Field. Members voiced disquiet about the further delay, and wondered if we were being ‘fobbed off’ because of ‘interference’, but it was pointed out the St. Paul’s were fully committed to this project and at every outside intervention, had come back to increase the size of the plot or make the terms even better.

(Initially we had been arranging to rent a small 3/4 acre plot, but in a surprising show of support St. Paul’s have not only offered to sell to us but also increase to the plot size four fold.)

MDC were now to pursue it and we hoped for an early resolution. Indeed John was now in contact with some MDC councillors who have been appraised of the project. Further contact will be made.

The events of the past year were discussed. The Spring Bluebell Walk, at Hazeleigh, turned out to be a bumper day, with the best displays of Bluebells in memory.

The Flower Show stand organised by Belinda Allen, proved to be a very good way of meeting many residents and allaying the fears and misinformation that some had received. We were heartened by the response. Many more TWIGS were signed up. We were praised by some for the stands information, free handouts and ‘Wish Tree’.

The Maldon District Council Tree Wardens and members of TWIG had also been out again with the Beaver Scouts, the Pre School children and all the children of St. Nicholas Primary, seed gathering and planting. Over a hundred pots of tree seeds have been planted to add to the hundreds of young saplings growing in our nursery beds and around the village.

The Seed gathering event at Hazeleigh, attracted numbers of visitors and supporters. Sadly there were few seeds to find, but all the children took a pot with a seed of some sort away!

John went on to reveal some of the plans the group had for the coming year.

TWIG thought another event might be organised in the spring of 2009 at Hazeleigh Woods, the proprietors of which were supporters of TWIG and the St. Paul’s Wood project.

TWIG resolved to have another stand at the next Flower Show and would now make an effort to recruit full supporters and more donations, not just their opinions. We may have to raise match funding for the land.

There would be more visits to the school and youth groups in 2009 by members of TWIG, culminating in seed gathering again in the autumn. It was hoped to involve all sections of the community, especially the youth.

We have got our own website. www.twigs.org.uk We will use the website in future to publish all our news. We have links to the websites of the Woodland Trust, the Green Light Trust, the local area website, as well as Villages UK.

John presented the financial report in Phil’s absence. There had been donations of over £1700, less the cost of the website, www.twigs.org.uk and plus a few donations making a grand total of £1695. John suggested that it was time we actually sought donations, instead of simply supplying information.

The steering group, otherwise known as TWIG were all willing to stand again and were re-elected. The positions of Chair, Secretary, Treasurer Etc, to be agreed at the next committee meeting, to be held as soon as possible after the Annual Meeting.

The meeting closed at 8.45pm.

Refreshments were served and informal discussions went on for another hour!

We look forward to seeing many more ‘TWIGS’ at next years meeting!

John Williams,

Chair of TWIG




September 2008.

Things are afoot, as they say and progress is being made, very slowly.  It is a good thing the steering group of TWIG are made of stern stuff and are not to be beaten!  We must get a prize for perseverance, if nothing else!

To that end we are organising Seed Gathering with the local children again and with the owners of Hazeleigh Wood.  More soon.

Still taking contributions of seedlings from people in the village, another 20 seedlings arrived at Bluebell cottage this month, thanks to Barbara and Neville.



July 2008

After the very good reception we received from all, including the man who drives the tractor on the land, we are looking forward to a response from St. Paul's.  They do say whilst councils talk in years the church thinks in centuries, but to be honest there is little reason for the delay that we can see, other than the continued opposition by one person....  St Pauls are looking for an early resolution....  We wait and see.


SUNDAY, 27th April 10am – 4pm.

 Join us for a FREE, Spring Walk, in



(Follow the small signs into the lane, on the left of A414 driving from Maldon’s Morrison’s, towards the Woodham Mortimer Roundabout)


Come and enjoy a hours or so stroll through this normally closed, private woodland, in association with TWIG and Essex Arb. The woodland owners will be on hand to show how the wood is managed, woodcrafts and charcoal made.


Splendid photo/painting opportunity for Bluebell enthusiasts..


In the  wood  we will have a nature trail for youngsters. TWIG members will be on hand to help identify trees and explain their Tillingham woodland project.  Refreshments available.


Also on hand to answer any questions you may have on planting or caring for trees, will be the M.D.C. Tree Officer and experts from Essex Arb. A company that offers total tree solutions.


Bring the children and your friends for this unique opportunity to enjoy an hours spring walk in a well managed, mature wood.


 For more contact us on either 01621 778859 or 0771 5556133.






March 2008.

Well we are still on track, Maldon council have agreed to take responsibility for the wood, with us running it we hope.  We just have to get all the 't's crossed.!  More soon.


February 2008.

Twig turned out to assist Mayland plant 450 hedgerow bushes and a dozen trees last week.  It was wild and windy, drizzle misted up the glasses, but there were smiles all round.  The Green Light Trust  helped organise things and the best idea was the camp kitchen dispensing Teas coffees and bacon buns! 

We also heard that we are another step forward towards planting our own, more later....

By the way, the mail is working fine again.  a P.C. problem....


January 25th 2008.

Sorry if you have been trying to get through to me on email for last week, gremlins in the system.  seems I have over powered my mail program, received too many mails.  all down to my little business and my sailing club, sadly not too many TWIG mails....  Next week maybe!



January 2008.

Hello to all our supporters.  A Happy New year to you all.  We hope that very shortly to have the news we have all been waiting so long for. We will post it on these pages as soon as we know.



December 2007.

We are reliably informed that the project has 'ticked all the right boxes', with all concerned and just the final legal matters are to be smoothed out now.  We hoped to be planting by this time, but have been dismayed to find that spanners were still being thrown in the works, delaying us yet another year.

However we now have the promise of backing by the Woodland Trust as well.  Essex County Council have also informed us they are onside.  We are constantly seeking advice from the recognised bodies and so far can find no person of note or authority who does not wish this project well.

Hopefully the next entry will be the one everyone has been waiting for!



Have you seen the new offer, October 2007, by Powergen?


They are offering a donation of £2.00 to The Woodland Trust for every person that goes on line and completes an energy survey.

Seems quite harmless and some useful info to boot.  worth a try... http://www.powergenchallenge.co.uk/


Notice of 2nd annual Meeting.

Monday 26th November at 8pm.

Hall to rear of the Congregational Church, South Street.


All members of TWIG  are invited to attend, .

The agenda, is as follows,

1.    Apologies,

2. Update on the Woodland Project.

3. Events during year.

4. Future Events

5. Election of Steering Group

6. Any other business. 


If you wish to volunteer or nominate anyone for a post please contact us 7 days prior to the meeting.


For more contact us on either 778859 or 778479.

John Williams. 

Chairman  TWIG


Come and hear how the project is going and find out what you can do to help.  We are planting for our grandchildren here, so a long term vision is required.  Refreshments will be served.

Volunteers to help on the Steering Group welcomed. Contact TWIG for more details.


Seed Gathering Sunday!

Sunday November 4th.  10am till 4pm approx.  We have been  welcomed back to John and Maureen's Hazeleigh Woods for Seed Gathering again.

hopefully there will be refreshments as before and members of Twig on hand to assist with identifying and sorting the seeds collected.

We will encourage as many as would like to to take seeds away to propagate, we will even help the little ones plant one up on the day to take away and grow.  All the remainder of the seeds will be used in our nurseries to grow more trees for the future...


Tuesday 24th July2007.

Sorry it has taken so long to get back on these pages, but not only was I away for a week but just prior to that my P.C. Crashed!  fun and games, am just catching up with myself!

We are all getting geared up here for the Tillingham Flower Show!   On our stand you will be able to offset your carbon footprint by planting a tree, or enter into the spirit of the day and search for King Ethelbert's treasure when you plant a special tree in our 'wood' on the stand.

You can also see the ideas of the local children, what they think might be 'good in a wood'!  then you can add  your own ideas to the woodland plan we have.  we would like to hear constructive views from all, especially the young, as this will be for their benefit really!

We hope to be selling that good charcoal again too, at the same sort of price too! 

See you there Saturday, fingers crossed for the weather.


Sunday 24th June 2007.

My Jenny's Wedding!!

As many of you might know, John has been a little preoccupied for the past 8 months or so since he bought a little boat to renovate.  The idea was to present it to Dave and Jenny as a wedding present...  After some initial doubts, Darian pitched in to assist and the final paint finish is down to her!

As found in Burnham on Crouch, a somewhat neglected Foxcub 18.
Many of those who first saw it, raised an eyebrow or two, doubting if it was possible at all, let alone by Midsummer's Day and my Jenny's wedding!

As they are both very Eco conscious,  he being a tree warden with a woodland, she trekking eco trails in the Amazon and working in an endangered species sanctuary etc...  It will come as little surprise that the event was to be a green and eco friendly as could be planned.  There was no confetti!, at the simple feast in the field later, there were recycling bins for everything!


The 'Green Favour'

Her best idea was for the 'favours'.  To celebrate the wedding every guest was given a small  (recycled) envelope with a certificate, hand made,  announcing that a tree was to be planted for every person in the new St. Paul's Wood, Tillingham, and listed the types of tree.  There was a nice little poem to go with it! The names of all those attending will also be displayed later on the TWIGS page.

 Attached are a few pics of the boat, before and after, and of the happy couple, who are away in Greece in a secluded villa, on a tiny island, at this moment in time! 


All ready to go!

The day was perfect, best was that the predicted heavy downpours all missed us and we had day long sunshine!  Interestingly, as the happy couple got into their Jeep to leave, late that night  we had 5 spots of rain, then it stopped...  they drove through heavy rain all the way to Gatwick!  They now have a heat wave in Greece!


We named the boat 'Beachcomber', which if you know anything about them is what they do... with the articles they find they produce the most exquisite items of jewellery and other craft items, that they sell at the Brixham craft fair every week!  


Waiting for the couple!

A new Seagull for power, made by John


We gave the boat the home port of 'Brixham' where Dave and Jenny have bought an old  house and are now  based!  We have their faces captured as the first saw their transport away from the Castle where they were wed.  (They asked me to arrange something 'quirky'! ) 


As they see their transport for the first time!


 They were having bets as to what it would be, with Jenny going for a combine harvester, courtesy of Keith, our brother in law's contacts, and Dave figuring on a Rigid Inflatable on a trailer. (they have both done their safety boat courses for the work they do with youngsters in Brixham harbour!)
When they first spot it, as it was hidden round the corner at first, they burst out laughing as Dave says 'told you so!!' Then a quizzical look comes over Jenny's face, (she told me later that at that moment she spotted the port of registry....  Brixham.......)
At this point Darian gave Dave a long parcel and I gave Jenny an envelope to open. 


Opening the card and parcel

Dave had no idea still and the odd look on his face when he finds a 'red ensign' on a pole is classic. What the....    However Jenny has now twigged and has found a boat shaped key ring and key. 

Jenny has now reads the card to Dave

In tears she reads out the card, 'Bon-voyage, just add water'!  The hugs and tears and the look on Dave's face, priceless!

Daves' Grin!

They wanted to ride in the cockpit all the way back to the farm, but were dissuaded...  It was not till much later they got on board to open up the cabin, and find the goodies inside, even down to a copy of the designers life story, (Uffa Fox, for those who might recognise the design!) That was donated by dear friend Doug!  To say they were speechless is somewhat an understatement.  We hope they get a few years fun before moving on to something larger!


Onboard for the first time!


They have already rung me from Greece, to say they have already decided the first thing they are to do when they return, is go to the Brixham Y.C. to organise a mooring and enrol for the Day Skippers course!  They took the key with them to Greece!!!
Soon I will be adding the finishing touches to 'Beachcomber' and arranging her transport to Devon, after that I suspect normality will seem rather humdrum!


A toast from the bride and groom!


Regards to all,

Normal service will be resumed as soon as our feet touch the ground again!

John and Darian



Monday 28th May 2007.

Wet and windy weather for the Bank Holiday!  I have just lost a weeks sailing, hope the weather improves as there are a few important events coming up!  We have a family wedding, linked to this site as there will be a tree fund donation in the names of all the ladies attending, nice thought.  My daughter is very environmentally aware, she works in a bird sanctuary part time and her  and her future husband are involved in eco tourism.  He is also a tree warden!  Fingers crossed for 21st June then!

Nearer home we have the Flower Show in July, the 28th.  TWIG will be there and we hope you will all come forward to sign up now.  The wood is going ahead and we would like as many people as possible to come to our stand and give us their ideas as to what they think the woodland aught to contain.  thinking caps on all round!

I have just had a couple more seedlings handed to me, all welcome, we will add them to our little tree nursery....



Wednesday May 9th 2007

At the recent steering group meeting it was revealed that all was now moving ahead smoothly and we could expect to be planting this coming winter!   This is great news to all those involved and as it becomes more generally known we can hope for more  to come forward to add their names to the list of TWIGS!

We intend to have a stand at the Flower Show again, this time with a much more positive approach, getting people to be more involved, not just say they think it is a great idea. which they did last year!

As a result of the suggested donations to TWIG by my family following the death of my mother, donations amounting to nearly £600 have been raised, and are still coming in.  In addition a further sum has been earmarked for a 'carved fallen tree bench' to be sited in the wood.

I have also been approached with a nice idea from my daughter, who marries on Mid Summers Day.  She would like to present a 'Green Favour' to each of the ladies attending her wedding. It will be a certificate stating that a donation towards the planting of saplings in the new 'St. Paul's Wood will be made on their behalf as a memento of the day!  Each of the recipients would be later named here and on the TWIGS list at the site!

We could have other similar ideas soon for fundraising etc.  what we are not going to do is plant a tree in memory of a person, as that tree might have to be thinned out or may die naturally.  Instead we may consider adopt a plot ideas...

If you have any young saplings in your garden and can pot them up and water them all summer, we would like to be able to use them this winter.  Only native UK species though, no monkey puzzles!


Chair of TWIG




Tuesday 27th March 2007.

Yesterday we had the funeral and thanksgiving service for my dear old Mum, Eva Lynn.  She was one of the first to donate to the project.  It was decided that TWIG would be the charity of her choice instead of flowers, and we are staggered at the response.  We knew she was popular, but even so!   I have not yet totted up the cheques, but it is several hundreds of pounds.  In addition the close family are to organise a 'Fallen Tree' bench to be made, carved and eventually placed in the wood, hopefully in a quiet grove of trees....

This has proven so popular with all who have heard about it that there is a possibility we will have more similar donations from other families to remember their loved ones, a lovely thought.  However it was pointed out that we might end up with more benches than trees if we were not careful, so maybe the placing of benches is one aspect we will have to look at carefully and after a certain number, there should perhaps be an alternative, dedicating an area or the like?

We are hoping the Legal Eagles are beavering away at the moment on the final details so we can get organised on the ground later this year.




Saturday 17th March 2007.

Sorry for delay updating this page, but as you can imagine I have been a little busy of late, with the sad passing of my mother.  Her funeral is not till Monday week, as members of the family have been out of the country.  However to date over £200 has already been received in donations to TWIG.  All who have contacted us have commented on the idea of donations to TWIG instead of flowers.  They really approve of the idea.  It was with some trepidation it was suggested, but it seems it was a popular move with all of my mother's friends and the organisations she was involved with, from the local guilds to the W.I.

We have not yet replanted the tree at the Village sign on the Southminster Road, but hope to shortly.  It is a container grown tree so is safe to plant still.

Bradwell Road


I have visited the Bradwell Road site where the mature Elms were felled last summer.  I tried to count the rings, but failing light defeated me, I believe these trees were in excess of 100 years of age.  I could see no signs of Dutch Elm in the sap rings either, what a shame.  The remaining trees are now protected by TPO's.

We have had concern expressed by residents of Birch Gardens, that there is a rumour circulating regarding the status of the Willow there.  If there are any further snippets of information coming to light supporting the rumour,  we might ask for a Tree Preservation Order on this tree too.  Isn't it sad that we have to consider doing this....



Thursday 1st March 2007.

Sadly I missed out on the Willow pruning and mulching as my dear old Mum passed away yesterday.  Thanks to those who have already contacted me.  My family have thought that TWIG might be the charity that donations might be sent to by the rest of the family, as Mum as you may know, was one of our first donors.  I thought it maybe fitting if we could plant a small group of trees in her memory with a bench nearby inscribed to her.  She loved the outdoors, was a keen walker, in her day and loved the idea of a wood beside the St. Peters Way.  From her of course I developed my love of the outdoors, and contacts with forestry and general farm and land work as a young lad.  I shall miss my sometimes twice weekly visits to her, doing the shopping and buying the hundredweights of bird food I had to weekly distribute.  I look forward to the day when we can hang bird feeders in the trees in our wood.


Sunday 25th February 2007.

With a slightly stiff back from a gently tweaked muscle, no more...  I can report that yesterdays planting was a great success!  See the 'Past Events' page for more!  Belinda, William, Darian and I, helped about 30 Mayland people and the TWIG banner and leaflets were well visible. a good effort!



Maylands Community  Woodland



Friday 23rd February 2007.

Please note Saturday not Sunday for Mayland!!

Next Wednesday at St. Nicholas school, 1.30 volunteers for spreading wood chip mulch and trimming the willow dome!  Andy Day in charge!


See you there at both events!


Thursday 22nd February 2007.


Community Woodland Planting this Saturday!!

Sadly not Tillingham, but nearby Mayland!  We are going to donate some of our larger trees, grown from seed here.  they are too large now and need to go in before another summer.

So bring a spade and the family to Mayland, behind the Primary School in Katonia Ave.  Meet at Lawling Fields car park at 10 am.

Our Wood?  well we have had more good news and look forward to planting later this year, if all the legal stuff gets sorted OK.






Wednesday 14th February 2007

Valentines Day, hope you all got cards too! 

Heard that Jono in Mayland are having a Community Planting Day on Saturday 24th February.  I though we could go and lend a hand, and what's more not go empty handed.  we have a number of large trees in pots that need planting out this spring and where better than a new woodland on the Dengie!  I will circulate more info when I have it.  wish it were our wood they were going into, but we still wait!  Mayland were given their land by a super supportive and far seeing Parish Council......



Saturday 10th February 2007.

Reminder for all the Steering group of TWIG, we have a meeting on Monday 26th at 8 pm.  we hope to have the latest from St. Paul's then plus we are welcoming the new M.D.C. tree officer Jackie, who is joining the group.  welcome Jackie.

Now the snow has gone and it is mild again, time to get the wellie's on and check the ties on the trees we have planted.... and if the soil stays unfrozen, time to plant if you have anywhere we can...  I have one to plant in the hedgerow near here to replace a tree that was knocked over...   Might also offer to take one along to the Southminster Road, before the Asheldam bends  on Neil Cowell's land, where the young tree was felled by a vehicle leaving the road, in the snow and ice this week....


Tuesday 6th February 2007.

Well this page is getting edited more often than I thought it would..... 

I have just had this in from Andy Day, he was searching the net for TWIG and found this....


Not only is there another woodland group called TWIG, but their local river is a River Blackwater too.  I have mailed them and we hope to swop links!  Have a look, they are a woodland group in the Surrey Area.

Great minds think alike they say!




Sunday February 4th 2007.

A sailing friend has just sent me this snippet, it relates to the governments plans for energy, makes interesting reading..



Greenpeace UK

Blair dumps climate

Greenpeace volunteers dump four tonnes of coal outside DEFRA

We know we've asked you this before, but we need your help to get the word out, locally and nationally, about decentralised energy... Please watch our film, help publicise it and, if you haven't already, write to your MP:

Take Action


Greenpeace ship in Scotland
The MY Arctic Sunrise will be in the UK in a matter of days. Find out why and visit us in Edinburgh... 

We're on the verge of climate catastrophe: that's the verdict of today's report from the world's top climate scientists. If we carry on with business as usual, the prognosis for planet Earth is more droughts, heatwaves and floods, stronger hurricanes, melting ice-sheets and rising sea levels. The message to the world's governments couldn't be clearer: it's time to act.

So what's Blair doing? He's ushering in a new generation of coal power plants... A number of energy companies are putting in applications to build brand new coal plants - the first to be built in 20 years. This coal rush is the inevitable result of Blair's love affair with the most polluting fossil fuel; coal use has risen under Blair.

The UK now emits more carbon dioxide than 112 of the world's smallest countries combined. So this morning, we at Greenpeace put the responsibility for these emissions at the government's doorstep, tipping four tonnes of coal at the entrance to Blair's environment department:

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the oil barons are apparently panicking about the severity of today's report. The ExxonMobil-funded American Enterprise Institute, which also has close links to the Bush administration, has offered scientists and economists $10,000 a pop to undermine the report.

We'll keep you posted on the new coal power stations as things develop. Right now, we're working with MPs, councils, architects and engineers to spread the word about the real solution to the UK's dependence on fossil fuels. Decentralised energy can more than double the efficiency of power stations (Woking Council cut its emissions by 77 per cent).

Please take a moment to visit the site and see how you can help:


Thanks for your action,

-- Rebecca Sumner
    Friday, February 2, 2007


 I do not always agree with all Greenpeace do, but I have often found that later they have proven to be so right..  makes you think anyway.


Here in the Dengie we soon could be surrounded by 12ft tall Elephant Grass, no views of any windmills then.  Why? well if the government gets their way to use the National Grid connection and decides to build a new power station burning 'bio fuel' the alternative 'Renewable source',  Elephant Grass is one of the favourites...  Of course  another good fuel is selected household rubbish, worried about lorry movements, well how about hundreds of dust carts every day?

We will need to plant even more trees to block out the view of the grey Elephant grass!



P.S. had this in from our partners the Green Light Trust.  How green are you?


If you would like to work out your carbon footprint, this link to a Guardian article will show you how…



Adrian Murrell

Projects Officer

Green Light Trust


Makes for an interesting exercise.  We do quite well here, except for the oil fired heating....


Saturday February 3rd 2007.

It has just been announced that  'Global Warming' is happening faster than anyone predicted and fast action has to be taken to reduce the further increase of warming and it's effects. Instead of 2 degrees Celsius they are now talking of 6 degrees in the next 100 years, so Coconut Palms have to be considered!









Telephone: 01621 778859
mail: enquiries@twigs.org.uk