Severn Trent Community Fund to support Derby woodland  

23rd February 2023

The Severn Trent Community Fund has issued a grant of £3,213 to Derby-based Whistlewood Common Ltd.

A community-owned, not-for-profit social enterprise, Whistlewood Common Ltd owns and runs a ten-acre community woodland near Melbourne, Derbyshire. 

As an ‘off-grid’ site, Whistlewood Common is not connected to mains water or sewage and generates electricity via solar panels. The funding will be used to develop a new water free composting toilet which will help to meet the needs of a growing number of visitors. 

The Community Fund is contributing £3,213 to the project total of £4,613, with the rest match funded through Whistlewood’s own funds. 

Christopher Gregson, Whistlewood Common Ltd, said: “Our site is an off grid outdoor location, which provides a beautiful green space, promoting wellness through contact with the natural environment. We encourage an appreciation of nature and the outdoors environment, promoting both physical and mental well-being. 

“Having sufficient toilet facilities is important if we are to achieve our ambition of further growing and developing the Common and ensure that it is suitable for all visitors. This funding from the Severn Trent Community Fund is going to be really important in ensuring that we can fulfil our ambition to further grow and develop the site.” 

Whistlewood is an open access site with facilities that include a green gym, natural children’s play area and a community garden, and is regularly used to host events, run workshops and provide education sessions to help people live more sustainably. 

For many, visiting or participating in an on-site activity helps improve mental and physical health, by alleviating loneliness, giving the opportunity to learn new skills, support development of friendships, promote activity and help cope with any physical disabilities or mental anxieties.

Sue Heyes, Severn Trent Community Fund, said: “Whistlewood Common is a genuinely unique location that is providing a truly wonderful escape for people who want to immerse themselves in a natural environment. We are absolutely thrilled to be able to contribute to their continued growth and development through this grant.  

“We are always looking for community-based charities and organisations which would benefit from grant funding and encourage anyone who may be applicable to get in touch.” 

For more information on the Severn Trent Community Fund and to find out how to make an application visit and search for Community Fund. 

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