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Shawlands Wood & Bank

Page updated - 27 February 2011

Location - The northern boundary of the wood is just about opposite to the first junction, from the roundabout, of Maldon Court on Shawlands Avenue. The southern boundary is opposite to the junction of Poplar Road and the bank continues from here to The Pot Kilns.



With the very high density housing in Great Cornard, I believe Shawlands Wood and Bank is of the utmost importance to this area. It is a place where young and old alike can enjoy the green natural environment. Children use this area to play and ride their mountain bikes; many walkers also use this area enjoying the views looking out over Cornard and Sudbury. The sunsets can be amazing on a summers evening, so in all, a true local beauty spot. [I agree, it is really great although I have not ridden my mountain bike there, YET – Ed.]


If we were to loose this area to development or whatever, how far would people be prepared to travel to enjoy similar activities. The cost of fuel would possibly inhibit the use of the car, certainly for regular dog walking activities.


The point I am making is that it’s great to have an area like Shawlands Wood and Bank, on the doorstep for people to enjoy just when they want.


This is why I am committed to the Parish Council’s Management Plan that is designed to preserve Shawlands Wood and Bank and to achieve Local Nature Reserve (LNR) status.


Last year, the Cornard Tank Group planted ‘nectar and food plants’ in the Butterfly Area [Please see issue 44 of Cornard News – Ed.] and enjoyed the task. This year hopefully we will see an increase in butterfly, both quantity & type, and other insects feeding in this area; so a big Thank You to TINA, ANN and all the Children of the Tank Group for their help.


The next task is the six bird nesting boxes, supplied by David Thomas, to be installed. If the Tank Group is shown where boxes have been positioned, they may like to see what type of bird uses the boxes.


Volunteers meet at 10am on the First Sunday of Every Month at the Old Exercise Area near the Poplar Road junction on Shawlands Avenue, and if you would like to help, just turn-up. Much work has already been achieved to stop the spread of blackthorn, keeping grass cut in the butterfly area, and keeping an area clear for orchids.


I believe we have a very good chance for this site becoming a Local Nature Reserve, but we need support from you, the people of Great Cornard.


Councillor John F. Millins

Great Cornard Parish Council

19 February 2011



SHAWLANDS WOOD & BANK - 2008 to 2010

Here is a short report of the work that has taken place, so far, towards the goal of wood & bank being granted Local Nature Reserve status:


Over the last three years George Millins has cut the grass at the entrance to the wood. A strimmer is normally used, as this is less harmful to wildlife. We have also cleared an area in the wood where blackthorn had spread to a once open glade. Three type of orchid grow in this area, which without this work will be lost.


There has been work carried out in the wood, such as removing fallen dead trees and cutting back overgrown footpaths. George Millins, David Thomas, Dean Walton and myself assisted in the removal of blackthorn around the litterbin and adult exercise area. George Millins also cuts the grass around the old adult exercise area during summer months.


I have had to do some major clean ups of fly-tipping, including a REFRIGERATOR, WHEEL-LESS MOTOR SCOOTER (the heaviest thing so far), MOTORBIKE FRAMES, SHOPPING TROLLEY, OLD ELECTRICAL GOODS, OLD KITCHEN CHAIR and ENDLESS BEER & LAGER CANS.


On my first visit my son and I filled six large garden bags of mainly just cans. I also had to remove an old double bed mattress, which had to be cut into four sections in order to drag each part out of the wood. I also had difficulty removing a bamboo plant, which was a root ball from a full size half barrel and still growing. I had to remove most of the soil in order to drag it out of the wood.


Then there was the hole that young lads had dug for the purpose of jumping with their bikes. It was about seven feet long, four feet deep and three feet wide. A member of the Public had complained it was dangerous and that someone could fall in and injure themselves. My son Colin and I spent two hours filling the hole. Thankfully my son and my wife have helped on other occasions too with rubbish removal.


I do get angry sometimes when I find rubbish dumped in this area. Why people fly-tip garden and household waste, on this beautiful bit of Suffolk, is just unbelievable. Sometimes I have to smile when I think about the effort people must have made to carry these items there.


The goal for this work is to maintain the wood and bank as a place of interest and beauty. It is home to many plants and animals, and is a place where people can go to see and enjoy wildlife.


John Millins

14 August 2010