We’ve been keen to meet up with the Friends of Westwood to see if we can work with them to promote what they do so I went along to their Annual General Meeting recently. The group is lead by Carly Fretwell, a County Ranger and made me feel very welcome with plenty of tea and cake.
I grew up next door to Westwood in Southampton and spent a lot of time playing in it. Over the years it became more organised and now it’s a wonderful place to explore and enjoy. It is a site of importance for nature conservation and also has a scheduled ancient monument in it. Westwood includes a number of habitats in it including wet woodland and grassland.
The Friends of Westwood carry out conservation work every Tuesday, meeting at 10.30am at the car park on Weston Shore near to Canberra Towers. Those taking part should wear steel toe cap boots if possible. The woods are rich in wildlife including dormice, stag beetles, cuckoos, foxes, deers, newts, lizards and birds of prey. They are also home to many different types of butterfly including the Small Heath and Green Hairstreak, species which are in decline.
We are keen to support the Friends of Westwood and look forward to both groups working together to achieve our goals of helping enhance the beauty of the area for everyone to enjoy. I even ended up with some rhubarb and ginger preserve at the end of the meeting!