About Alvecote Wood
Alvecote Wood is a magical place. We have always been drawn to it as we cycled past. We wondered who it belonged to and were concerned at how neglected it had become. When we got the opportunity to buy the Wood in 2007, we were absolutely delighted.
Who are we?
We are a husband & wife couple: Sarah Walters and Stephen Briggs, living about one mile from the wood. Neither of us had any woodland management or even rural background. Sarah is a doctor, retired on the grounds of ill health in 2006, but was formerly a Consultant and Senior Clinical Lecturer in Public Health at the University of Birmingham. Stephen studied Physics at University and went on to be a founding Director of a software company. He now runs a company manufacturing security products for a variety of applications, including bicycles, motorcycles and commercial security. Sarah is also a qualified fitness instructor and personal trainer.
We also design web sites professionally and have created this site ourselves. Please contact us if you need a web site.
Woodland management is a new venture for us although both of us have always been interested in, and involved in, wildlife conservation. For several years Stephen was Group Leader of the Tamworth Supporters' Group for the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and has been involved in several conservation organisations and fundraising and awareness raising activities over the last 20+ years. We are both passionate about preserving and extending wildlife habitats, about reducing our impact on the planet, and encouraging people to appreciate and enjoy the countryside through an active lifestyle. We have sought as much advice as we possibly can about this project and are extremely grateful to those who have helped us as we got started and as we continue our work. This includes, but is not limited to, the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, the Forestry Commission, the Pond Conservation Trust, Warwickshire County Council, Alvecote and Shuttington Parish Council, Maurice Arnold (a local naturalist and founder of the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust), and many friends, family & neighbours who have volunteered and turned up to form work parties and who have simply given advice and enthusiastic support. We are also very grateful to all the contractors who have helped us, including:
- the "Arborcare" tree surgeons that have given us expert and skillful support in keeping our oaks and other trees healthy and safe, and giving us training in the safe use of chainsaws;
- Bill Sammons, Dave Haynes and Ralph Duckett, who helped with excavation and development of the new entrance, internal roads, for the new building, the new ponds and for the drainage improvements;
- Les Armstrong for heavy metal-bending support in our security provisions and for rural management advice;
- Ian Glover for tractor spares and maintenance advice for our rather elderly tractor!;
- Andy Greenhough for fencing work;
- the Police for advice on aspects we wish we didn't have to worry about!
- ...and others too numerous to mention!