Brickmaker’s Wood (BMW) is a 3.5-acre urban community woodland in the centre of Ipswich, Suffolk.  Until 2015 it was unmanaged, being used for illicit actives with decades’ worth of drug related paraphernalia and fly tipped rubbish. Waste has been removed and long-term regeneration is underway.

Location: Sudbury, Suffolk

Over 1000 volunteers spent just over 6000 hours helping to transform BMW into a tranquil, natural community green space.  They have helped install a large wildlife pond, outdoor cooking and seating areas, disabled persons’ compostable toilet with solar powered lighting, a multitude of wildlife habitats and a grassed amphitheatre area for drama therapy sessions. Volunteers are made up of a mixture of groups from the local community.  Some young adult volunteers and students are directly involved in gang culture or know people who are.

The Eden Rose Coppice Trust have also worked with nearly 300 young adults with mental health challenges, behavioural problems and those that are disengaged with society, teaching them woodwork, conservation, horticulture, forestry and life skills, whilst they help us to restore and maintain the community woodland.  The sessions have imparted feeling of self-worth, boosted their confidence, and strengthened their sense of pride and belonging, – improving life outcomes. 

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