Sparkford Copse Trust
In 1985 an area of woodland known as the Sparkford Hill Copse was put on the market. It had originally been the site of local quarries that had long ago reverted to woodland. Local residents led by Major K Crawford of Weston Bampfylde took immediate action to acquire this copse as an amenity for the nearby villages.
In 1995 the Trust was able to purchase the area of woodland known locally as Ridge Copse in the parish of Queen Camel. It is approached by Gason Lane, a footpath from the A303 and also from the A359 via a sign posted footpath immediately opposite the entrance to Sparkford Hill Lane.
In 1998 the Trust purchased a four-acre pasture field on Sparkford Hill Lane between the lane and the Wessex Water treatment plant. This purchase was made to enable the villages to plant a new copse to mark the Millennium. Local communities have been involved in planning the layout of the new woodland, the choice and siting of trees, shrubs and wild flowers, and the layout of footpaths.
A further opportunity arose in 1999 to puchase a further two acres on the north side of Sparkford Hill Lane that was a landfil site in the 1960s when another old quarry working was filled in. This will be planted around the edges leaving grassland in the centre that can be developed as wild flower meadow.
These areas of woodland are run as a charitable trust with the day-to-day management in the hands of a committee. Both copses are open to all who wish to enjoy their natural amenities - to observe the wildlife, use the picnic facilities or just admire the splendid views from the seats provided in Sparkford Copse.
The Trust is funded by subscriptions from members and by maintenance grants from the Forestry Authority. Valuable technical support is also provided by Somerset County Council, the Woodland Trust and the Somerset Wildlife Advisory Trust. Subscription rates are:-
Annual Membership £2.50
OAPs and those in full time education £0.50
Life Membership £25.00
Corporate or Family Membership £5.00
Anyone wishing to support the Trust should contact