The Friends of Anderton and Marbury (FoAM) are a group of volunteers that are the driving force behind the development of the Northwich woodlands, helping to improve and promote these much-loved green spaces.
The group now has about 250 members, who mostly live within a 20 mile radius of the Woodlands. It's a really social group with regular woodland events organised in conjunction with the rangers.
Mary Jeeves, one of the members of FoAM told us:
"We organise a plant sale each May, a picnic in the park every July, and an annual Christmas decorations workshop - as well as guided bird walks and wildflower walks throughout the year. We have an event at least once a month so there is always something to be involved in. We are a really active group!"
FoAM has also played a major role in some of the Woodland's biggest transformation projects; recently they provided an oak-framed shelter for visitors, providing wheelchair accessible cover for about 40 people. The friends group has completed a project to tell the history of Marbury Hall (demolished in 1968/9) on their Mersey Forest website. The current project focuses on an interpretation panel for the arboretum along with replacement identity plaques for specimen trees.
Mary added: "I enjoy all aspects of being part of FoAM, but mostly I enjoy sharing my love of wildflowers and trees with other people. There is really quite a community of people who regularly visit the park, and you get to know all the other dog walkers and their dogs – I am there all the time with my border collie, Pip."
FoAM is just one of the friends groups that Mersey Forest helps to support. These groups enable people to benefit from and improve the beautiful outdoor spaces in their neighbourhoods while making great friends and keeping active.
Volunteering even just a few hours a month, and spending that time outdoors, can make a big difference to your own wellbeing. If you are interested in joining a local friends group, or if you are interested in forming one yourself, please contact The Mersey Forest on 01925 816217
We want to help more groups like FoAM – but we need your support to do so.