Center Parcs and The Wildlife Trust have been corporate partners since May 2013 and in that time more than £44,000 has been raised through guest support and Village fundraising activities. It is not just monetary support Center Parcs offer but the company considers engagement as an equally important factor in working with charities. The Center Parcs volunteering programme has been running for four years with projects including community centre redecoration, landscaping and gardening.
The following individuals will be volunteering on the day:
Lucetta Vicentijevic (Flitwick)
Tom Phelan (Flitwick)
Lorraine Ballantyne (Ampthill)
Mike Ellis (Dunstable)
Pete Cascini (Dunstable)
James Taylor (Cranfield)
Carl Stoner (Putnoe)
Sue Harris (Houghton Conquest)
Skye-Monroe Perry (Milton Keynes)
Holly Mullen (Bedford)
Cooper’s Hill is Bedfordshire’s largest remaining area of heathland covered in swathes of heather in late summer. The reserve in on the Greensand Ridge which historically would have been grazed by sheep or cattle with the heather also being used as fuel, bedding and for thatching roofs. Open heath provides a home for the common lizard and insects. Lots of nesting birds also take advantage of the protection of spikey gorse.
Gwen Hitchcock, Reserves Ecology Officer of The Wildlife Trust Bedfordshire said: “It is great that volunteers from Center Parcs are giving us a hand with this huge task. Cooper’s Hill contains the remaining patch of mature heath in Bedfordshire and invasive bracken threatens to kill the heather here by shading it out. By removing the bracken, we are ensuring that this biodiversity hotspot stays thriving in the future.”
Wayne Matton, General Manager of Center Parcs Woburn Forest said: “We are delighted to be working with our natural neighbours to ensure that we are not just improving the biodiversity of our own forest but that we are also making a difference in the local area.”
In May 2013 members of the management team at Woburn Forest team volunteered for The Greensand Trust preparing a play area at Maulden Wood, then on 16th December, a team of volunteers helped at Flitwick Moor by helping to clear the ground ready for the spring. Bracken pulling at Cooper’s Hill as the third volunteering project undertaken by the Woburn Forest team.