Among the woods of Marlow Bottom are Kimbers Copse, Munces Wood and Hunts Wood. These woods are a wonderful example of how a positive attitude combined with proper planning publicity and persistence can reap dividends.
The story began during the recession in 1992 with a campaign to raise funds for the purchase of local woodland, led by Peter Borrows.
Early in that year, the Marlow Bottom Valley Residents Association was asked to support a Woodland Trust appeal to raise some £5,000 for Hunts Wood in the valley. Even as members planned their campaign, events seemed to be conspiring against them as the Chancellor raised interest rates to 15%. Despite the general air of gloom though the Trust announced that they had decided to also bid for Munces Wood making the combined target £33,000.
Privately, the Residents Association doubted that this was achievable, but the Trust went ahead with publicity and door-to-door canvassing. Within six weeks, with pledges also from Trust supporters elsewhere and the local District Council and Parish Council, the target was almost reached. A grant from the Countryside Commission sealed the issue and both woods were acquired by the Trust.
Seven years later, the Trust had the opportunity to purchase pastureland adjacent to Munces Wood and once again the Residents Association was approached to lead the appeal for funds, £35,000 on this occasion. This campaign too was successful and the former field (known as Kimbers Copse) now boasts a dense array of (mostly) naturally generated saplings, chiefly of ash but with oak, field maple, sallow and hawthorn vying for space as well.
As a result of these efforts the woods around Marlow Bottom are secure for future generations. A lesson surely that nothing ventured nothing gained.
Submitted by Peter Borrows
These woods surround the village
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