Key Facts

Local communities celebrate the Wellesley Woodlands official opening

16 Nov 2015

Friends and families gathered together to celebrate the official opening of the Wellesley Woodlands – not letting the British weather get in the way!

Last Saturday, 14th November, over 120 members of the local community across generations, united for an afternoon of arts and crafts, educational workshops and woodland themed stories to celebrate the official opening of the Wellesley Woodlands.

The festival, organised by Grainger and national land management charity the Land Trust, was a fun-spirited way to celebrate the official opening of what is set to be a huge, beautiful recreational space for locals to enjoy at their leisure.

Lorna Oldham, a resident of Aldershot and part of the Military Wives Choir, said of the day’s activities, “All the kids had a brilliant time! My friends’ kids who I took along just kept saying they were having the best day ever and wanted to get into their wellies and straight into the Woodlands!”

The last minute venue changes as a result of bad weather didn’t deter residents coming to the Smith Dorrien, enjoying delicious Ghurkha curry, with children partaking in a range of arts and crafts whilst others listened to woodland themed stories and had their faces painted as woodland animals.

The main feature of the event was the unveiling of two beautiful woodland sculptures, created by Nick Speakman and inspired by the artwork of children from local Aldershot schools.

Connor Oldham, aged 10 and local Aldershot resident, commented: "I can’t believe I won a runner up prize! The carvings were amazing. I can’t wait to see them in the woods! It’s nice that we have these special paths to go walking in now and see all the wildlife!”

Grainger, the Land Trust and Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership are incredibly proud and happy to be able to support the local community through the offering of the Woodlands, and see the joy it brings to Aldershot.

Rebecca Probert, Community Development Manager at Grainger, said: “It was touch and go as to whether we would go ahead with the festival, as the weather was against us. There was an excitement and a real sense of community spirit throughout the day and it was great to have Nick Speakman (the sculpture creator) there. He spoke to all the winners and is an inspiration to the budding young artists. All in all, the event was a great success and a true example of partnership working.”

To find out more, visit: www.wellesleywoodlands.co.uk