Following the recognition of the increasing conservation value of the Sudbury Common Lands through designation as a County Wildlife Site, the Charity was presented with the Tim Sloane Memorial Award 2008. Tim Sloane had been the senior Project Officer for the Suffolk River Valleys Environmentally Sensitive Area Scheme since its inception in 1987. His support and advice was crucial to the Trustees in their efforts to improve the riverside environment. In 2012 the Charity’s volunteer Riverside Projects Team won the ‘Landscape and Biodiversity’ section of the Suffolk Greenest County Awards. Recognition of their huge contribution to the management of the riverside is richly deserved.
Early in 2009 the Charity, grant aided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, set up a Volunteer Ranger scheme. The volunteers, all local people with an interest in the riverside, provide a highly visible uniformed presence on the Sudbury Common Lands. They are able to provide information and advice to people as well as check the welfare of the cattle. An important aspect of the presence of Volunteer Rangers is to ensure that inappropriate behaviour towards livestock ceases. As grazing is the key to the management of the Common Lands it is essential that the traditional scene of cattle on the riverside meadows is not compromised.
The Charity is grateful for the significant financial support that it receives through successful grant applications and from a few generous individuals. This provides essential funds towards the various projects that benefit everyone who uses not only the Sudbury Common Lands but the wider Sudbury riverside. In the recent past these supporters have included: Heritage Lottery Fund, Awards for All, Babergh District Council (hand tools for our volunteer Riverside Projects Team), Sudbury Town Council, Suffolk County Council (Community Chest), Sudbury Talbot Rotary, D C Moncrieff Charitable Trust, Waitrose, Scarfe Charitable Trust and the estates of Roy Southgate and Bob Crane. In 2012 the Charity received grants from the Alfred Williams Charitable Trust and the Dedham Vale and Stour Valley Countryside Project to cover the cost of constructing an artificial kingfisher nesting bank. Also in 2012 Babergh District Council provided a 50% (of total cost) grant towards the pollarding of three poplar trees.
In 2012 the Sudbury Common Lands Charity was exceedingly fortunate to be a beneficiary of the legacy of Mr A.R. Wheeler in which a number of national and local charities were included. Tony Wheeler served as a Trustee of this charity for ten years so he was very familiar with its work and its requirements and he was always most keen to see that it was equipped to fulfill its land management duties. To this end the current Trustees purchased important items of equipment in 2013 (tractor) and 2014 (buck-rake) which will ensure that the management work can continue effectively for many years to come.
In 2013 sisters Amanda, Dawn and Julie Coppock raised significant funds for the charity in memory of their father who had been a stalwart of the Riverside Projects Team. The money was used to purchase a sweeper brush in 2014 for use on the Valley Trail where accumulations of leaves and mud can make a visit a less pleasant experience. Now the trail is in a much cleaner condition as a result of this machine which carries Dave Coppock’s name.
The Riverside Projects Team continues to thrive. By early 2015 an influx of new members meant that there was a shortage of hand tools to go round. This was remedied by the purchase of a good quantity of further assorted tools. Half the cost of the tools was met by Babergh & Mid Suffolk Council under their Community Projects Minor Grants. The grant benefits the charity and the volunteers through the use of good working tools and the work that the volunteers put in benefits the wider community.
Further contributions continue to be received and the charity is always keen to acknowledge these, whether great or small, on their ‘Donations’ board situated at the Croft floodgates.
Recent funders include:
The Alfred Williams Charitable Trust
Suffolk County Council Locality Budget (Cllr. John Sayers)
Leslie Mary Carter Charitable Trust
Uplands Middle School
St Gregory’s Primary School
Rotary Club of Sudbury
This website was created by the Mackman Group and the funding was provided by Business Link (EEDA) and the estate of Kit Farnes for which the Trustees are most grateful.