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Residents celebrate after £35,000 cash boost for Common Wood
RESIDENTS trying to buy a large bulk of Common Wood are celebrating after raising £35,000 from donations in just six weeks.
The Penn and Tylers Green Residents Society need to raise more than £100,000 locally to add to money they hope to get from the Heritage Lottery Fund and other groups.
The society is looking for the support to purchase around 237 acres of the wood, off Hazlemere Road, which will cost around £500,000.
Common Wood is currently being auctioned off in lots by owners ILEX Forestry and the association is concerned about the impact fragmentation of the wood will have on the area.
Margaret Harris, who is supporting the campaign said: "We are a third of the way there and it hasn't been going for long. We are getting quite large donations and lots of smaller ones.
"I think we shall do it and certainly raise the £100.000 and the Heritage Lottery Fund is looking quite positive. We won't know until June when they consider it fully."
David Harris, the chairman of Penn and Tylers Green Residents Association said a lot of help was given by The Woodland Trust who circulated donation forms to its members.
The trust bought Penn Wood after concerns that a golf course would be built there. But support was only in the form of advice and leafleting as it is committed financially to other projects.
Mr Harris said: "We have distributed 10,000 forms to independent households. There has been a lot of effort going on."
The society says it is worried that residents will lose access to the woods if it is sold off as new owners can fence off their plot.
The wood was put up for sale last summer in 15 lots. Many of the smaller ones have been sold and one of the paths has been fenced off.
The residents have been speaking to the agents selling the lots on behalf of ILEX, and believe they will need around £500,000 to secure the sale of what remains.
Support for the purchase has also been given by the Chiltern Society and the Council for the Protection of Rural England.
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