IAN LAVERY COLUMN: Community woodland being damaged by mindless vandals

This week I met with the chairman of the Friends of Ashington Community Woods, who showed me around all the outstanding work being done in the woods by the volunteers who help keep things as tidy and well preserved as possible.

By Ian Lavery, Wansbeck MP
Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 10:28 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 10:41 am
The woodland was badly damaged in Storm Arwen. Picture: Ashington Community Woods Facebook page.
The woodland was badly damaged in Storm Arwen. Picture: Ashington Community Woods Facebook page.

The woods were badly damaged by Storm Arwen and ever since, the group of volunteers have been working tirelessly to get the woods open again for visitors as well as tend and maintain the foliage which was hit hard in the high winds.

The community woods are a fantastic asset for Ashington, just a 10 minute walk from the town centre transporting you to a side of the town that too few people are familiar with.

I would recommend going on a walk and take in the fresh air and beautiful surroundings that are so well maintained by the Friends of the Woods.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The benefits to your mental and physical health are immense and it is completely free of charge.

Unfortunately, the volunteers are fighting the tide of anti-social behaviour as a small group of people continue to vandalise and damage the woodland area either with graffiti, litter or by setting fires.

Besides being incredibly dangerous this is a massive strain on the efforts of those who work so hard to maintain the woods for visitors as well as the fire service who have to be called out each time.

I will be speaking to the police and fire service in the coming weeks to discuss what can be done to put an end to these mindless attacks on such a beautiful part of my constituency.

I would like to put on record my thanks not only to the Friends of Ashington Community Woods but to all the volunteers in my constituency who give up their time to make our communities better places for everyone to live in.

The pandemic saw a time of renewed community activism as people pulled together to help one another through what was an incredibly difficult period and long may it continue.

I have always said that the people of Northumberland are the greatest in the world and the past couple of years have done nothing but affirm this belief!