email address correction - Environment centre occupation

Tony Gosling tony at
Sat Jan 7 18:54:12 GMT 2012

This is a call out for support.

<admin at>

Last night the Forest of Dean Eco village 
reclaimed an Environmental Education Centre 
closed by the cuts, we intend to reopen it and 
run it as a free education space for the local community and beyond.
We invite you to come join us on our journey 
towards creating a sustainable future.
We need people to come help hold down the space, 
work on the buildings, gardens, woodlands, run 
workshops, skill shares and help use this rare 
resource to its maximum potential.
If you have something to contribute in terms of 
time, energy, ideas, skills and resources you are welcome to join us.
If you are interested please contact us at 
<admin at> tel: 07811 726372

Plea goes out to save Wilderness Centre
Thursday, October 27, 2011
The Gloucester Citizen
A RALLYING cry has been issued to get the Forest's Wilderness Centre back open.
The environmental education centre, near 
Mitcheldean, fell victim to sweeping county 
council cuts and stopped providing services at the end of August.
It was then due to go on sale on the open market.
But a legal challenge by charitable group Friends 
of the Wilderness Centre has bought them time to 
form a campaign fighting to re--open it.
However, they need people to throw their weight – 
and cash – behind them as they bid to take over the centre themselves.
They want help in funding the campaign.
Friends secretary Trevor Roach said: "We have got 
a business plan together, and have formed a trust steering group.
"We haven't been presumptuous enough to form an 
actual trust yet because we are waiting to see if 
the council will negotiate with us first."
Their legal challenge will go through the High 
Court on November 3, when it could either be 
upheld and the centre prevented from sale or 
dropped, paving the way for it to fall into new hands.
Mr Roach added: "We are hoping we can take the 
centre on a lease from the council, like they've 
done with other places in Gloucestershire.
"If not, we would like to have the first option 
on buying it as a going concern and we'll go from there.
"The legal challenge was really to help buy a bit 
of time. The notion of the Big Society and 
communities stepping in to take over is all very 
well but it takes a lot of time.
"The closure of the centre was rushed through 
very quickly and we needed time to look at what we could do with it."
The centre was used regularly by schools, both 
locally and nationally for environmental education trips.
People backing the campaign are being urged to 
make as much noise as possible by writing to 
their MP, lobbying councillors and spreading the word.
The Friends are also asking for donations to help 
their legal battle and have already raised about 
£3,500 over the summer. Baroness Jan Royall of 
Blaisdon is also among their supporters.
But Councillor Will Windsor-Clive, 
Gloucestershire County Council's cabinet member 
for communities, said the legal challenge had tied their hands on any deal.
He said: "We've been keen to meet with Friends of 
the Wilderness Centre for some months – but that 
has been delayed by their legal action against the council.
"The county council took the decision to dispose 
of the site some months ago – money raised from 
any sale would help support council services that 
benefit people across the Forest of Dean and Gloucestershire."
Visit to find out more.

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