Friends of Colwickwoods

Friends of Colwickwoods

About Us

Friends of Colwick Woods volunteer group was formed by local residents in April 2004. We work closely with Nottingham City Council. The aim of the group is to protect, enhance and promote Colwick Woods as an important local resource for the benefit of the community and its natural habitat.

Cot Death Memorial Plantation

ChatPosted by Tim Mon, July 13, 2015 12:06:24
The unexplained death of very young infants, now known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is far less frequent now than it was a hundred years ago. In Victorian times and into the Twentieth Century some families will have buried their dead infants not in a churchyard or cemetery but in some well loved local place. This was and is perfectly legal following a registration of a death, subject to certain requirements. The Friends of Colwick Woods is currently researching the history of our own Cot Death Memorial Plantation, about which very little is known. If any reader can help us with this then please make contact. The Plantation covers around a third of an acre of land on the far western edge of the nature reserve, running from the former Inn on the Hill (Ma Hubbard’s) up to the north western corner of the covered reservoir. It is now a dense impenetrable thicket of trees and shrubs which have established very successfully over the last twenty five years. There is a range of native trees and shrub species, including some that are not commonly found elsewhere in the woods, such as Geulder Rose (Viburnum opulus) and Hazel. The Plantation has become an important refuge for wildlife. We know of only one burial in this part of the woods, and that was before the Second World War. It seems unlikely that the Cot Death Society (which no longer exists) would have dedicated such a large planting scheme to a single death more than thirty years before, and we think there may be a great deal of secret history to uncover. Long before the Bakersfield estate was built people from the overcrowded Victorian terraces around Sneinton Boulevard will have been just a short walk up the hill from what is now our Cot Death Memorial plantation. The tallest trees now rising above the general canopy are Poplars. As with all young plantations this would benefit from some active management to help the trees grow better. We would also like to start coppicing the Hazel. Coppicing is a traditional technique that brings sunlight to the woodland floor, benefiting wildlife.

By Edmund Hopkins (FCW Secretary)

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A letter to The Friends Of Colwick Woods by Gerry Tacey

ChatPosted by Tim Fri, May 29, 2015 18:24:39

To the ' Friends of Colwick Woods '

I lived on Greenwood Road – at number 133 – from the age of 7 years until I was 24 when I migrated to Australia. I have lived a happy and contented life here – married, raised three children and have four grandchildren and have been extremely fortunate in my working life here. So fortunate in fact that in all the 65 years since I settled in Australia I have been able to visit Nottingham many, many times and when I visited again a couple of years ago I was delighted to find that 'the woods' as I recall we referred to them are now in the hands of a group of 'carers' who, from what I read on their website really do care.

I went to school at the Jessie Boot primary school just up the road there and then when I was eleven had to move to the Sneinton Boulevard Senior Boys School. That was a bit of a wrench but on the days when one had to set off for school the prospect was lightened by the fact that one could get to the 'big' school by enjoying a fun start to the day by going through what we called 'Round Wood'. One could risk being late for school – and having to endure a telling off by the head master – by dawdling along looking at birds nests or perhaps violets in the Spring and Summer and in the Autumn shuffling along when the paths were covered in brown and gold leaves and then being in trouble for arriving home with ones boots – yes boots – covered in mud. I can still recall some of the names of the families of the other children I went to school with and who lived on the council estate across the road from the 'woods' – amongst them being Brassington, Hintons, Hammonds, Wicks, Richmonds, Eastons, Eastwoods, Bartles, Noaks, Marriots, Greenfields, Lees, Bowers and so on. And I recall down in the 'valley' to the east of round wood there was an old farm house wherein lived an old couple who I imagine would have been associated with the running/managing the farm for years before the Greenwood Road estate was established. I recall the both as being very old – very, very old. They weren't farming then but they had quite a large garden running to the south from the house where they grew quite an assortment of vegetables. I remember being sent by my mother down to the cottage to buy a bag of potatoes from time to time. And I recall going to the door of the house with trepidation because the old chap with his long grey beard scared the life out of me. Backing on to this cottage was a large shed which I remember as the council park-keepers 'office' and in which was stored various tools and equipment which the park-keepers used for general maintenance around the woods. Also kept in this shed were goal posts etc which the local 'football clubs' had to cart up the hill to the south where at the top would be marked out in a rough sort of way the football ground. The only football ground I ever came across that had a dip in the middle where the centre spot was. I don't recall who it was who organised it all and rounded up a bunch of us lads as a soccer team but we played our home games up there – and took the goal post down when we had finished. On leaving school at the age of 14 I started work at the boot and shoe makers shop which was situated on the corner of Kirkdale Rd and Oakdale Rd and where I worked until I was 17 when I went off to join the Royal Navy in 1943.

Yes, I have many happy memories of fun in Colwick Woods both in the Summer and Winter too and I wish all the 'Friends of Colwick Woods' good luck and success in all your endeavours there.

I am now 89 years old and I hope that I shall be able to make another visit before long.


Gerry (Ged) Tacey.


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Do you know Gerald (Ged, Gerry) Tacey?

ChatPosted by liz Wed, March 04, 2015 00:07:32

Do you know Gerald (or Ged as he was known then) Tacey who lived on Greenwood Road from 1927 - 1953 and went to Jesse Boot school? If so, he would love to hear from you. He now lives in Australia and sent our secretary this lovely email. We have permission to give out his details as he hopes someone will make contact. Or perhaps if you don't know him, you may have an elderly relative who might remember him and would like to write to him if they don't use a computer? He is now 88 years young.

Dear Edmund,

Until I was 26 I lived on Greenwood Rd at number 133 (except for three years in the Royal Navy) and then I immigrated to Australia.
I have visited Nottingham and Colwick Woods on several occasions during the time I have lived here but it was not until JUNE last year
when I visited again that I became aware that there is a group of people who really care for it in a very practical way - not just in a sentimental way as I do.

Whilst we were there my daughter took a photograph of the 'Local Nature Reserve' sign and not until a couple of days ago when looking at photo I noticed that you have a web-site . . . . so I logged on and was delighted to see the photos thereon of people enjoying what appears to be a gala day. Everyone appears be enjoying the occasion and I thought to myself ' I wonder if - if any of those people would remember me'?

I am now 88 so they would have to have a little grey hair by now - like me. Perhaps the Friends of Colwick Woods has a news letter in which you could publish this note and I could than wait in anticipation of there being someone who might care to respond . . . . .

During my school days - at Sir Jesse Boot up the road, I was known as GERALD ( GED) TACEY
then when I began work I was called Gerry as is the case now.

My address is 45A NEWRY ST
PERTH 6014


With kind regards

Gerry Tacey

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Colwick Cutting

ChatPosted by Tim Sat, February 21, 2015 11:35:52
I expect that most people who know Colwick and Sneinton see the reddish brown cliff face along side the loop roop road / Rail way line quite often, know locally as Colwick Cutting.
Locals at one time used to call the cliffs "Deadmans drop", some maybe still do ? As far as the Geologists are concerned this is the oldest and deepest sedimentary rock formation East of Nottingham.
Known to them as the "Sneinton formation" a 10-20 metre thick reddish brown layer of inter-bedded sandstone, siltstone and mudstone from the middle and upper Triassic period, about 200 million years ago !!
Below these mudstone cliffs is a bed of sandstone which can be seen in various places around the city, the obvious is Nottingham Castle. So there we have it, the Sneinton formation is Mercia Mudstone dating back some 200 Million years, if only trees and rocks could talk, what a story they would tell !!!

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History Of Colwick Woods pt2

ChatPosted by Tim Sat, February 14, 2015 10:19:21
I wonder how many folk have been wondering around Colwick Woods and come across a brick lined hole in the ground ? If you have and your not in the know then you'd sure be wondering about its purpose and coming up with all kinds of mental images, from a Well to gun emplacement. Here's the truth, that brick lined hole in the ground used to be an "Ice House", some would even ask, Ice House ? An Ice House is simply a building that was used to store Ice, so during the winter that brick pit would have been filled with Snow and ice then have straw or sawdust packed on top to insulate it. Over the pit would have been a domed brick structure to protect the ice from the heat of the day. That way it was quite possible for the ice to remain in the pit for months. This produced cold storage for food items or anything else you wanted to preserve or keep cold for any length of time. The Ice House was at one time the cold storage facility for Colwick Hall, so now you know what some people had before refrigerators !!!! Ice houses were introduced in the UK around 1660. there is a photograph in our GALLERY showing what we think our Ice house would have been like............ The picture is a Cutaway illustration.

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History of Colwick Woods

ChatPosted by Tim Fri, January 30, 2015 16:37:23
I've been spending some spare time searching the internet, and researching events that have happened in Colwick Woods in years gone by. Googling “ Colwick Woods” one day brought up something that caught my attention, a passage from a book ? The passage read.....

But New England's shut down, so is Colwick Wood: yes, it's fair haunting to go through that coppy and see Colwick Wood standing there deserted among the trees, and bushes growing up all over the pit-head, and the lines red rusty.

Further research lead me to chapter nine of a book wrote by D.H.Lawrence called “Lady Chatterley's lover”. So ? I knew D.H.Lawrence was from Nottinghamshire, Eastwood to be more precise, but it appears he knew of Colwick Woods. This got me thinking if he had mentioned the woods before so I carried on with the research, trawling the internet in search of a connection between Colwick Woods and D.H.Lawrence.

A short while after I found two more passages that as far as I'm concerned proves the fact that not only did Mr Lawrence know of Colwick Woods he more than likely made a few visits as a young man, with good reason as it turns out.

The second passage I found was from the book “Sons and Lovers” D.H.Lawrence, and reads.........

The Trent ran dark and full under the bridge. Away towards Colwick all was black night. He lived down Holme Road, on the naked edge of the town, facing across the river meadows towards Sneinton Hermitage and the steep scrap of Colwick Wood.

This book is renowned to be an autobiographical novel drawing on the writers provincial upbringing. So that's quite convincing, but better still it turns out that a Poet by the name of Keith Sagar ( died as recently as Oct 2013 ) had done some very in-depth research of his own, including personal interviews with the remaining Lawrence family. A passage from the book Lawrence in my life by Keith Sager reads..........

Ada told Agatha that Ernest Weekley followed his wife one day. She met Lawrence and they went to Colwick Woods, a beauty spot near Nottingham. There Weekley confronted Lawrence and gave him a thrashing. Unable to ride his bicycle, Lawrence walked home, arriving in the early hours. He accounted for his bruises by claiming to have fallen off his bicycle. He stayed in bed for two or three days. But Frieda was not deterred. Her visits continued.

This is where I stopped my research, convinced that Mr D.H.Lawrence certainly knew of Colwick Woods and going by the remarks made by some of his family, Mr Lawrence bicycled to Colwick Woods regular as a young man to continue a secret affair. So there it is, the 'good' reason to visit the woods ! To meet Frieda Weekly, who by the way eventually became Mrs Lawrence.

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Wreath making event 2014

ChatPosted by liz Mon, January 26, 2015 21:48:22

Sunday December 7th was the day we held our wreath making and children's craft event. The weather was kind to us again, not too cold and no rain!!

There were some beautiful wreaths made on the day, click on the gallery on the main site to see them (or here is the link -!home).

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves even though we were struggling with the stems we were making the rings out of. Ha ha it gave us a laugh anyway!!

The children made some lovely cards and some little animals made out of cones.

The hot fruit punch went down very well again along with the lovely selection of cakes.

I would like to thank the volunteers that came along to help and of course the members and others that came along to participate. Without you, we wouldn't have had an event at all.


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Stargazing 2014

ChatPosted by liz Sun, January 19, 2014 10:13:34
Well, another successful event!!

We had literally hundreds of people turn up for the Stargazing Live!! event we hosted. There were queues all night to look through the telescopes kindly provided by the Nottingham Astronomical Society. It was a lovely clear night this year, not like last year when the weather was so against us. Jupiter with its rings and moons could be seen quite clearly.
It was cold but people soon warmed up with hot drinks and soups, we were even taking orders and delivering them to the people in the queues for the telescopes!!
The tombola, as always, was popular with the star prize of a Sterling Silver and blue topaz ring being won on only the second ticket drawn out!! Ha ha, the booby prize - which is something useful - was also won!!

We had visitors from quite far afield, Sheffield, Leics etc who had seen the event advertised on the BBC website.

We saw lots of people who join us every year for this event and we would like to thank you, and the people who haven't been before, so much for coming along and supporting us, it does mean a lot to us.

I will be posting pictures of the event in the gallery as soon as we have them available.

Liz xx

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