Secret Wood is on its way back

A previous Secret Wood event
A previous Secret Wood event

SCARBOROUGH’S popular Secret Wood event is set to return this year thanks to a cash boost.

The annual event in Raincliffe Woods has faced uncertainty in the past due funding issues, but will promises to be bigger and better than ever this year after receiving £4,845 from the Voice Your Choice programme.

John Bradley, chairman of the Friends of Raincliffe Woods, explained that Voice Your Choice had asked groups to put a presentation together so that members of the public could decide who would benefit from the Government grant.

He said: “We would like to thanks everyone that came along and voted for us. There was a fantastic turnout and we were so pleased with the result.

“We were really chuffed and now we can get on with planning the event.”

Last year the Friends organised the Not The Secret Wood which saw more than 1,500 people visit during a bank holiday in May.

Birds of prey displays, a bird trail, face painting and mask making took place and there were opportunities for children of all ages to try their hand at making bird boxes, bat homes and insect houses.

Youngsters more used to mobile phones, the internet and computer games were introduced to wood carving, metal forging, handicrafts and traditional skills such as fence-making.

Organisers are now looking for volunteers to lend a hand, both with the planning and on the day itself which will be September 17.

Mr Bradley said: “It’s always been a popular event that attracts a lot of people. Even the smaller event last year had over 1,500 attending.

“We want to get it back to what it was originally with plenty of attractions. It’s a free event and kids love it.

“The only thing we can’t plan for is the weather!”

The Secret Wood became a huge hit over its initial seven-year run, particularly with younger visitors who were kept entertained by puppet shows, face painting and hair braiding.

It was previously cancelled in 2005 as a cost-cutting measure, returning the following year offering more activities than ever.

The last full-sized event, held three years ago, was called the Secret Wood Sustainability and Biodiversity Fair. Highlights included birds of prey, an iron age village and archery.

Environmentally friendly issues were covered with a range of stalls from organisations including the North Riding Badger Group, Energy Saving Trust and the Renewable Heritage Trust.

Discussions about the event will start this week. If you would like to find out more or put your name forward as a volunteer call John on (01723) 895124 or send an email to jbjohnbradley753@gmail.com or raincliffe.woods@gmail.com