The Grove Woods Revival Project in Churston receive much needed boost from the National Lottery Community Fund

The Friends of Grove Woods are thrilled to announce the receipt of a grant of £9,950.00 from the National Lottery Community Fund. This will enable the Grove Woods Revival Project to carry out several essential projects which will revive this ancient local woodland. This will greatly improve the woodland habitat, enhance biodiversity and bring back some of the wildlife and plant species which were once native to this area.

Nigel Wood Chair of the Friends of Grove Woods says:

“This is fantastic news and we are very grateful to the National Lottery players because this grant will allow us to accomplish things that were just a pipedream a year ago.  It will enable us to buy tools and provide essential training for our volunteers as well as installing interpretation boards and improving access to the woods for the benefit of the community and visitors to the area”.

 About the Grove Woods.

Grove Wood is located on the South Devon coast near the village of Churston Ferrers. It is owned by Torbay District Council and leased to Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust. The wood is in a small valley that runs down to Churston Cove. Grove Woods is a haven for wildlife including, at the latest count, 204 species of flowering plant, animals and fungi and has considerable historical, and social significance.


About the Friends of Grove Woods

In 2017 nearly half of the woodland was felled to prevent the spread of a deadly tree disease and all the larch and sweet chestnut trees were removed. This left a gaping hole in the middle of the wood.  The Friends of Grove Woods community group was set up in January 2018 to assist with the management of Grove Wood and Balls Copse with a remit to plan and implement improvements to the wood and its long-term management The volunteers are working towards a biodiverse and sustainable community woodland which will be an important local resource for recreation, education and citizen science.  Since February 2019 the group has been running active work parties every Saturday.  The work parties are involved in practical woodland conservation, which includes opening up the rides in a way that will  benefit a wide range of animals plants and insects, training on specialist tools and equipment alongside educational interludes by project leader Nigel Wood who has a wealth of experience in woodland management, conservation and wildlife.

Wildlife in Grove Woods

The large clearing, which was a consequence of  the the felling of the trees, has become a new and extensive  foraging area for bat such as the  greater horseshoe and several other species of bat. A series of butterfly surveys last summer revealed 20 species of  butterflies such as the stunning white admiral and gorgeous silver-washed fritillary which already thriving in the newly created habitats. The future management will continue to enhance the opportunities for a wide range of species. The hazel dormouse could also colonize this woodland due to abundant hazel stools.