Greening Galleywood was a Heritage Lottery Funded, Galleywood Parish Council initiative project started in July 2006, to promote and sustain biodiversity improvements at key sites within the parish - see original Press Release The Greening Galleywood legacy was supported each year with ongoing maintenance of the project, the sites and its aims in placing wildlife at the heart of the parish.
Previous Galleywood Parish Council Chairman Bob Villa introduced ex Councillor John Turkentine who gave a project completion presentation to Parishioners on Wednesday 19th August 2006 at the Keene Hall. This initial three year project “placing wildlife in the heart of a parish” received £25,000 in July 2006 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to train volunteers in a variety of natural history, environmental and traditional rural craft skills enabling them to undertake the surveying of some twenty identified key sites within the Parish and to establish biodiversity improvements, document and publish the results of the project and formulate a 10 year sustainability management plan that lasts into 2019. The training workshops run by various experts covered a diverse range of flora and fauna – reptiles, bats, hedge rows, fungi, pruning apple trees, coppicing Hornbeam, identifying wildflowers and trapping small mammals.
The original presentation plotted the progress of this unique project from it’s inception in 2005, prompted by an impromptu walk around the Parish by the late Bernard Cooper, ex Councillor John Turkentine and Essex Wildlife co-ordinator Claire Cadman, who recognised that Galleywood parish has an abundance of wildlife and the enthusiasm within the parishioners to ensure that this heritage could be sustained and improved for future generations to enjoy. John explained that all of the key sites had to be accessible to the public, i.e. adjacent to a highway or public right of way (footpath) and also have the permission of the land owner. The resulting 14 key sites adopted for the project are on land owned by - Parklands Farm, Galleywood Parish Council, Chelmsford City Council, St Michael and All Angels' Church, Galleywood Infants School and St Michael's Junior School.
Without the significant support of volunteer parishioners, students of Thriftwood, Galleywood Infants School and St Michael’s Junior School, parties of international Scouts attending the 2007 Centenary Jamboree at Hylands, Galleywood Rights of Way (GRoW), Great Baddow and Galleywood Environmental Group, The Princes Trust, Tony Rouy and his intrepid band of ‘Twitchers’ and the Mormons this project could not have been completed. Eight interpretation boards have already been sited at the major key sites, and all 14 are mapped on an information board erected in the grounds of the Galleywood Heritage Centre.