Ashington’s Brownies and Guides went down to the woods on Sunday (19 February) to plant trees and flowers as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations for the town.

The youngsters visited Ashington Community Woodland to plant native oak, sycamore and ash trees as well as a mix of spring flowering bulbs including snow drops and bluebells. 

The 150th Anniversary of Ashington comes from the sinking of the Bothal Mine Shaft in 1867 which led to the rapid expansion of coal mining and subsequent development of the town.  The planting is part of a number of events and activities that are taking place, during 2017, to mark this significant milestone in the town's history.

Ashington Community Woodland covers over 130 hectares and includes part of the old Ashington Colliery site so it was particularly apt that the young people chose the woodland to carry out the work. The planting of the trees and bulbs was part of Girlguiding Thinking Day which this year the theme was 'growing'. Hopefully the young people's hard work will be appreciated by current and future generations of the town for many years to come. 

The planting scheme was supported by Friends of Ashington Community Woods (FOACWs) who work to improve the woodland as well as organise events to encourage more people to use the space.  The project was also financially supported by Ashington Town Council and Ashington Mayor, Cllr. Avril Chisholm, came along to help the youngsters with the planting. 

As part of the project a new bench has also been placed within the woodland which is home to an increasing variety of wildlife and fauna and also boasts a colony of red squirrels.  FOACWs will also be planting more native trees during 2017 to improve the diversity of woodland.

Commissioner of the Ashington Division of Guiding, Gillian Teasdale, said ‘We would like to thank Friends of Ashington Community Woods and Ashington Town Council for their support as we believe it is really important for the children to value their local environment'.

Cllr. Chisholm added ‘It was great to see a really good number of children working to improve the woodland.  Ashington Community Woodland is a fantastic green space right on our doorstep and we would encourage people to value and positively use the woodland’.

Doug Mitchley, of Friends of Ashington Community Woods said ‘It is encouraging to see the amount of interest in the woodland and we would welcome anyone from the town to come along and help us improve the site. We meet at 10am every Monday to carry out work and we welcome anyone whatever their ability’.

The entrance to Ashington community Woods is via the railway line next to Ashington Police Station just off the A197.

For more information on the work of Friends of Ashington Community Woods visit www.ashingtonwoods.org.uk or find the group on Facebook.