Project updates

Composting toilet funded by the National Lottery Community Fund

March 2022 update | Our eco-friendly Natsol Composting toilet (funded by the National Lottery Community Fund in 2021) will soon be ready to use. The underground tank was installed in November 2021 and the main cubicle built March 2022 by a team of community volunteers led by local plumber Kev Brand. Local contractor J Crooks kindly made available a JCB driven by his son. The remaining plumbing and installation of internal fittings will be complete shortly.

Oaks Meadow’s trustees and supporters are very grateful for the Community Fund grant of £9,814 for this essential facility. It will enable adults and children of all ages to relax and enjoy their time on the meadow without having to dash home for the loo!

Community Fund logo

Oaks Meadow designated a Healing Wood by Suffolk County Council

February 2022 update | Oaks Meadow was among the first of four projects to be designated a Healing Wood by Suffolk County Council (SCC) in September 2021. As well as providing trees, hedging and advice, the associated grant is helping to provide seating, signage and professional design services for our reflective space.

All these aspects of the project are moving forward rapidly and will soon be making a real difference.

The SCC’s healing woods and spaces project aims to create areas for quiet reflection where people and communities can reconnect with nature in a natural, healing environment.

Recent research by the University of Essex with the Green Light Trust demonstrated that woodlands and green space can significantly improve people’s wellbeing.

Healing woods and spaces support SCC’s commitment to developing mental health support in Suffolk in response to impacts of the Covid pandemic.

IKEA awards Oaks Meadow a ‘No Place Like Home’ grant

January 2022 update | Autumn 2021 brought very good news from The NCIF (National Community Investment Fund) & IKEA. They emailed us to say:  “We really liked your application for the Places Called Home programme. We want to give The Oaks Meadow Project £4,000.00 to help your community thrive.”

We are very grateful for this generous grant which will go towards landscaping of the reflective space. Professional garden designer Louisa Van Den Berg has since produced some lovely designs incorporating an oak and acorn theme.  We hope to get the reflective space landscaped and planted in 2022.

Winter rainfall fills our wildlife pond

December 2021 update |  One advantage of all that winter rainfall was that it filled our wildlife pond for the first time with the excess water draining into the overflow pipe exactly as planned. The wildlife pond project is now substantially complete, thanks to a generous donation of £5,000 from Paul Marriage which has funded the hire of a digger, the building of the jetty and will also contribute to planting, safety equipment and signage.

We are also grateful to Chris Knock for advising on the design and location of the pond and for digging it out with the help of Daniel Bellamy who also built the jetty.

The earth dug out of the pond is being used in the north west corner of meadow to create an arena.

Orchard planted thanks to the generosity of the Sicon Foundation

December 2021 update | Our orchard was planted out with 27 fruit trees thanks to the generosity and hard graft of the Bury St Edmund’s based Sicon Foundation. 

The Foundation supports environmental projects in Suffolk which they hope will have a positive impact on our planet by bringing communities together. They kindly funded the purchase of the trees and provided 11 volunteers to help with the planting.

We would also like to thank local volunteer Bill Baldry as Guardian of the Orchard for ongoing support and his meticulous work in planning the layout of the orchard, specifying the varieties of fruit trees and identifying where they could be purchased.