Thursday, 4 March 2010

Local Conservatives Visit Hill Holt Wood Social Enterprise

Today, Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Cllr. Adam Duguid, Conservative (Market Rasen Ward), Cllr. Mrs. Meg Davidson, Conservative (Fiskerton Ward) - Chairman of the Council's finance committee and Giles McNeill, paid an impromtu visit to Hill Holt Wood to see how West Lindsey District Council's support was training young people in new skills and leading them into work.

Right: Cllrs. Duguid and Davidson inspects plans a student is following to construct wooden bollards with Co-Founder Nigel Lowthrop.

Hill Holt Wood is a small, 34 acre woodland operating as an environmental social enterprise and controlled by a voluntary board of directors representing local communities and councils as well as local and national businesses.

At Hill Holt Wood the approach of the management of the woodland is in a traditional sense, as a habitat to be conserved but we also look to the future and utilise the natural resources to achieve employment, education and training goals. Hill Holt Wood is a centre for learning for a diverse range of learners of all ages and abilities.

Through support from projects such as Hill Holt Wood and the Future Jobs Fund, 150 unemployed young people will be trained in the green building industries of the future.

Left: Cllrs. Duguid and Davidson in the almost complete Community Hall and beyond, through the doors, the 'rammed earth' meeting hall.

We saw the building work that is afoot on the new Community Hall, Refectory and Meeting Room - made from rammed earth, a technique not seen on these shores since the Romans. The building is being created using entirely sustainable materials sourced locally where possible and utilising many innovative building techniques. We saw how plastic-slate tiles are being used which are partly-made from recycled plastic and were given an invaluable insight into the many possibilies that eco-developement will potentially afford West Lindsey in the future.

Initially the Community Hall will be heated by split-log boiler the logs for which we will source locally. This energy will be stored in the form of hot water and released into the underfloor heating system - very Roman.

Right: Cllr. Duguid and Giles McNeill at the Hill Holt Wood sign.

An excellent project really demonstrating the very best of what can be achieved by Social Enterprise.

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