Welcome to the Friends of Charnwood Forest

To work towards the preservation of the countryside and local environment of Charnwood Forest Regional Park for the benefit of those who live within it, for those who visit, and for future generations.

Friends of Charnwood Forest is a society aiming to protect the natural beauty and amenities of the area known as Charnwood Forest. Membership is is open to all.

More details about what we do and who we are can be found here.


Last Meeting

Our last two meetings have both been held on-line using Zoom; in each case we had about 40 people attending. A report of these talks, including a video recording of the Talk on 15 February, is on our Events Page.

Next Meeting

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak our programme of events was suspended in March 2020; it resumed in 2021 with on-line talks using Zoom.

Our next Talk will be on March 15 when Martyn Speight, who spoke to us once before on Charnwood’s water supply, will give a talk on ‘The Tucker Family and their Loughborough brickmaking’. We expect this will be given via Zoom; the talk will be preceded by our 2021 AGM.
The Tuckers supplied the bricks for St Pancras Station as well as many of the houses in Loughborough. Their legacy, too, is Charnwood Water: some of you have probably walked around this.

Further details, including how to join the meeting, will be circulated shortly.



2021 Subscription Renewal

As stated in our latest Newsletter, your membership payment for 2020 will also cover 2021, and there is no need for any payment this year. For new members: please complete a Membership Form and return to our Hon Treasurer with your cheque as indicated on the form. If you wish to arrange a Standing Order, please contact our Hon Treasurer, Kim Turner.

Our Membership Secretary is Felicity Manning.


Events and Programmes for 2021

Our April meeting will be on April 19, when Simon Greenhouse will give a Talk on "The Trees of Charnwood Forest". We expect that this Talk will be given online using Zoom.

This will be the last 'indoor' meeting before the summer: we hope to arrange a couple of outdoor events during the summer but this will be subject to government Coronavirus restrictions. We then hope to resume our usual programme of indoor Talks in the Autumn.

Previous Events

Here are details of some of our previous events, which includes some photographs from our 25th Anniversary Party.


Bradgate Park Management

Members may be aware of controversy in 2019 surrounding the Trust responsible for the management of Bradgate Park and Swithland Woods. The Committee is also concerned about the issue, and sent this letter to each Trustee in an attempt to obtain further information in September 2019.

We did not receive what we considered a satisfactory response from the Trustees, and in November 2020 we sent a second letter to each Trustee. We await a response.

Membership

We welcome all visitors to indoor events: most outdoor events are limited to members. Those wishing to join the Friends should download and complete the Membership Application Form.

We will use your email address to distribute information to members about our activities during the year. We use "Mailchimp" to distribute information to members; this means that your mail address will be held by "Mailchimp" in a database. To ensure Friends of Charnwood Forest emails reach your inbox, you may need to add mem@focf.org.uk (Friends of Charnwood Forest) to your Contacts or Safe Senders list on your system. If your membership details have changed, especially your email address, please contact Felicity Manning, our Membership Secretary.

Projects and Sponsorship

Since its inception, Friends of Charnwood Forest has been involved in several projects to enhance the local environment, involving the expenditure of several thousand pounds. More details can be found here.

Charnwood Forest Landscape Partnership and Heritage Lottery Fund Grant

In 2017 the National Forest Company applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a £3M grant to enhance Charnwood Forest.

The Application stated "The Chronicles of Charnia" will celebrate the area's internationally important volcanic legacy. It will enable and encourage people to explore its rich landscape and diverse heritage. It will provide deeper engagement for residents and visitors, while contributing to the local economy. It will coordinate management at a landscape-scale to make Charnwood's heritage more resilient to growing pressures. Most importantly, it will create a greater sense of local pride, inspiring communities to restore the character of this special place".

It has a strap-line "Made by volcanoes, shaped by people".

In May 2020 it was announced that the application, for £2.767M, was successful, and the . "Charnwood Forest Landscape Partnership" was set up.

Here is their Christmas 2020 Newsletter.

Stoneywell

Stoneywell

The National Trust's only property in Leicestershire, Stoneywell, lies a couple of miles north-west of Newtown Linford. Its official opening was on 11 March, 2015. Booking is essential; please telephone 01530 248040 or email Stoneywell@nationaltrust.org.uk. The Stoneywell website is at http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stoneywell/.

Charnwood Forest Living Landscape

Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust are promoting the idea of Charnwood Forest as a "Living Landscape" and not a set of individual isolated parcels of land. More information is available on their website.

Charnwood Forest Regional Park

Charnwood Forest Regional Park has been confirmed by the relevant local authorities. More details can be found here. Here is a map showing the park boundary (may take some time to load).

More information on the Regional Park is available here.

We are members of the Regional Park Stakeholder Group.

Video of the Forest

An interesting 20 minute amateur video of Charnwood Forest has been produced by Patrick Leach, Bob Morgan and Martin Roy and is available here. Please note that FOCF is not responsible for the content of this video.

Newsletters

Between 2001 and 2018 we produced a regular Newsletter (see below). In 2018 we decided to discontinue producing the Newsletter.