Waingroves villagers buy woodland as £20,000 raised

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A Derbyshire community group has successfully bought local woodland in order to safeguard it for future generations.

Volunteers had been looking after Waingroves and Strelley woods, near Ripley, for several years.

They managed to raise almost £20,000 in about six weeks.

Waingroves Community Association chairman, John Stamp, said villagers started fund-raising when the owners put the woodland up for sale.

"We were very shocked indeed," he said. "We had a public meeting in the local church, which was absolutely full to overflowing, and we were given a mandate to do what it takes to make this woodland ours.

"People and their children have been using this woodland for many, many, years and they've always felt it as theirs.

"It was the village colliery, people worked here, it was the reason for this village existing. It's ingrained in everyone in the village so it really is important and now it is ours we can develop it and continue to develop it so that our future generations can enjoy it as we've been enjoying it."

Next month, they will receive the deeds to the woodland, for which local children have designed a logo, and plan to hold a week of celebrations.

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