AN overgrown wilderness reclaimed for the community could become an outdoor gym, adventurous play or a forest school as a fun day fired imaginations. 

The Discovery Day at Woodmancote in Warndon took place on Saturday, drawing in crowds with a stake in the future of the park as the community begins to explore the possibilities of the site. One idea is that wild Woodmancote could become a forest school for adventures for city children in built-up Warndon.

Worcester News: WILD: The wilderness of Woodmancote - the hope is to retain the wild beauty of the place while increasing the accessibility WILD: The wilderness of Woodmancote - the hope is to retain the wild beauty of the place while increasing the accessibility (Image: James Connell/Newsquest)

Led by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and Sanctuary Housing, this was the start of planning the regeneration of the site which fell into disrepair in around 2008.

The family fun day took place between noon and 3pm last Saturday as visitors enjoyed free ice cream, Giant Jenga and a name a Bee Bank competition.

However, the day also had a more serious purpose - to give people their say on the future of the site with the aim to keep the beautiful wild character of the site but improve accessibility. 

Over time Woodmancote has become derelict and inaccessible and was even used by some to dump rubbish but its potential is now being rediscovered. 

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Organisers say the event was very well attended by residents who shared their views. Over 50 people visited the site across a wide age range.

Some of the ideas collected include the provision of adventurous play, outdoor gym equipment, nature study areas and raised beds for vegetables.

A dog free section was requested and a pleasant walkway through the trees and shrubbery.

Whilst seating areas was considered welcome by many, there is a concern that this could create spaces for antisocial behaviour.

One proposed solution is to involve local youths in building the park furniture. This plan would see local young adults given a small budget, materials and support to build the seating themselves. Practical guidance and training and the necessary tools could perhaps come from the Building Block in Shap Drive.

The hope is that local people become stakeholders and protective of what they themselves have designed, built and delivered.  

Cllr Jill Desayrah, who is actively involved in the project and was at the event, said she hopes to set up the Woodmancote Wombles (an idea suggested by Liz Yorke of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust)  to keep the area clean and tidy.

She added: “I was delighted that attendance was representative of the community and that we gathered so many good ideas. 

"By the end of the session our board was filled with sticky notes! It is such a positive first step and bodes well for the future. We are now going to review the suggestions and will keep residents informed via street letters and my community Facebook page “desayrahwarndon”.  The project is scheduled to be completed by Spring 2024 and based on what I saw on the Discovery Day I am optimistic we can work together to make this a fantastic space in Warndon."