Bolsover Woodlands enterprise project showcases work at open day

A woodlands and conservation enterprise which sees people with learning disabilities working with staff on a variety of environmental projects showcased their skills at an open day.

Bolsover Woodlands Enterprise Ltd was set up by Derbyshire County Council and is a partnership between its Adult Care and Countryside services.

It provides opportunities for adults with learning disabilities to gain practical training and work experience in conservation and woodland management.

The company helps to manage local authority woodlands and trails across North East Derbyshire with a team of up to 14 people per day working with four full-time staff.

They have worked on a variety of conservation and land management projects and also regularly take on a small number of contracts with other organisations and individuals.

Through their work for the Bolsover Woodlands Enterprise team members have gained a range of qualifications and have learned to operate machinery including chainsaws, strimmers, a chipping machine and wood working machinery.

Their work has included the felling of damaged trees, thinning out of non-native species, the creation of woodland and wildlife nature trails and the building of an outdoor classroom area.

They also process timber and make furniture for inside and outside, such as benches and coffee tables.

The open day last month gave team members from the enterprise the opportunity to demonstrate their skills to their families, carers, current and potential customers at their base on Bolsover Business Park in Woodhouse Lane, Bolsover.

The team also unveiled their new environmentally-friendly wood-burning boiler and heating system.

Derbyshire County Council Deputy Leader Coun Simon Spencer, who attended the event, said: “The Bolsover Woodlands Enterprise provides an excellent opportunity for people with learning disabilities to gain new skills, valuable training, experience and qualifications.

“They have been involved in some excellent conservation work and transformed the areas where they have worked, as well as winning very positive feedback from customers.”