Sutton’s MP Andrew Mitchell, together with Royal Sutton’s Mayor Councillor Charlotte Hodivala, has officially unveiled a new storage container donated by Jaguar Landrover to the Friends of Jones Wood in Walmley to allow them to store the equipment needed to reclaim the ancient woodland for communal use.
Andrew Mitchell paid tribute to the activist spirit of the group of local residents who spearheaded the campaign to bring the woodland back to life and make it accessible for all in the community to use and enjoy. The group found records of the site going back to the 17th century.
Two years of hard work by local residents and Councillors have achieved amazing changes that have resulted in the wood becoming increasingly popular among Suttonians. The Friends are looking forward to seeing the results of their efforts to increase the number of bluebells in bloom this Spring, and are planning to hold another Easter Trail through the Wood for local children on Easter Sunday, following the success of last year’s event.
Andrew Mitchell thanked Peter Stokes, Chairman of the Friends of Jones Wood, for all the hard work he had done, along with Councillor David Barrie and Town Councillor John Perks who has worked closely with the Friends and with Jaguar Landrover.
Andrew Mitchell also paid tribute to the charitable work of Jaguar Landrover, represented at the Opening by Peter Gray, Chair of the JLR Charity Fund, and Kelly Tatton, Launch Planning Manager. As well as providing the container for storage, last year JLR deployed 25 people for two days to help clear the wood and prepare it for communal use. During this time they laid paths, repaired gates, fitted a notice board and planted 300 trees. They also donated nearly £3000 to fund the Friends’ ongoing work in the community.
Andrew Mitchell said “My thanks to all those who have worked so hard to make this excellent project possible, particularly the Friends of Jones Wood and the charitable team at Jaguar Landrover. They have transformed this area into a wonderful space for local residents, and should be proud of their efforts here”.
Photo: Peter Stokes, (Chairman of The Friends of Jones Wood), David Barrie (Birmingham City Councillor), John Perks (Sutton Coldfield Town Council),
Andrew Mitchell MP, Peter Gray (Launch Manufacturing Manager at Jaguar Landrover),
Charlotte Hodivala (Mayor) and Kelly Tatton (Launch Planning Manager).