Volunteers needed to help uncover WWI history

If you are interested in the First World War and local history, why not take part in the second phase of the project ‘Reaching Out Arms – The story of the First World War on Cannock Chase’?

The Friends of Cannock Chase, in partnership with Cannock Chase AONB, are seeking a number of volunteers for two different voluntary roles.

Volunteer researchers are needed to help research further into the people who built, serviced and trained on the military camps, the camp railway and the affect the camps had on the local community.

The role will include speaking to local people who may have memories or stories to share.

Volunteer tour guides are also being sought to deliver tours about the history of the First World War on Cannock Chase, as part of a series of bus trips around the area.

Trevor Warburton, from the Friends of Cannock Chase, said: “It’s great to be starting the second phase of the Reaching Out Arms project, and we’re looking forward to discovering more local stories about the impact the First World War had on Cannock Chase AONB. We hope plenty of volunteers will come forward to help us with this fascinating project.”

Volunteers will be given full training and also invited to take part in delivering community history workshops and talks on the findings at the end of the project.

The project will run from April to September 2016.

To find out more about either of the roles, please email cannockchaseww1@outlook.com or call 01785 619186.

Anyone interested in finding out more about what volunteering will involve, can also come a volunteer recruitment drop-in session on Saturday 19 March. Running between 10am and 12 noon, the session will be held at the John O’Leary Education Room, behind Cannock Chase Visitor Centre at Marquis Drive, Hednesford, WS12 4PW.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

AONB grants on offer to community groups

A pot of money is available for community groups to develop projects that focus on Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The Cannock Chase AONB Partnership has a small pot of money to fund projects up to £2,000.

Of the grant scheme, Emma Beaman, Assistant AONB Officer, commented: “This funding is a really valuable resource for voluntary groups. Examples of projects that could be awarded a grant include creating bird feeding stations, art activities such as wildlife sculptures, tools for volunteers, habitat creation, or way markers.

“We hope plenty of groups will apply for funding and we look forward to helping projects that will boost Cannock Chase AONB.”

The deadline to apply for a grant is Friday 22 April 2016.

Applications will be assessed against criteria that includes whether projects conserve or enhance the natural beauty of Cannock Chase AONB sites, whether they are sustainable, if they involve local communities, and more.

Small projects will be funded up to £500 and larger projects will be funded up to £2,000.

To find out more and to request an application form, please contact Emma Beaman on 01785 619185 or email cannockchase@staffordshire.gov.uk

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cannock Chase AONB Dementia Conference

Cannock Chase AONB held their first Dementia Conference on Friday 5th February at the Whitehouse on Cannock Chase. The conference was intended to get everyone’s sign up to proposed actions in the draft Dementia Strategy. Many thanks to everyone that attended.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

AONB conference invitation

 

Everyone is invited to attend a free conference to gain views on the development of a Dementia Friendly Strategy for Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The Cannock Chase AONB team and Carers Association Southern Staffordshire are working together to host a free conference on Friday 5 February.

Funded by Natural England, through its Innovation Fund, the aim of the conference is to find out how Cannock Chase AONB could become the first Dementia Friendly AONB by creating a Dementia Friendly Strategy.

The conference will also be a chance to discuss an Action Plan to complement The Cannock Chase Management Plan 2014-19.

Emma Beaman, Assistant AONB Officer, commented: “Making the AONB a fantastic place to visit for people with dementia and their families will increase the prosperity of the local community and place us on the map as an innovative, forward thinking local partnership.

“We hope it will pave the way for future developments, while protecting the local environment, landscape, history and wildlife.

“A dementia friendly strategy will enable more people to benefit from the health and wellbeing opportunities available in this beautiful area.”

Mac Cock, from Carers Association Southern Staffordshire, said: “We’re delighted to be working Cannock Chase AONB on this strategy and look forward to sharing ideas at the February conference. We need to hear from people, especially those who have cared for people with dementia, so we can make sure the strategy is based on local need.”

The conference will take place at The White House, Marquis Drive in Cannock, on Friday 5 February from 9.30pm to 2.45pm.

It is free to attend and lunch will be provided. However, there is a £10 fee for non-attended places.

To find out how to book please email judith.dale@carersinformation.org.uk or call Carers Association Southern Staffordshire on 01785 222365.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cannock Chase AONB Dementia Conference

Invitation

The Carers Association Southern Staffordshire (CASS) would like to invite you to a special conference on Feb 5th 2016 at The White House, Marquis Drive, Cannock WS12 4PR. 9.30am – 2.45pm

This is to gain your views to assist in the development of a

Dementia Friendly Strategy for Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and an Action Plan to compliment The Cannock Chase Management plan 2014-19.

Making the CCAONB a fantastic place to visit for people with dementia and their families will, increase the prosperity of the local community and place CCAONB on the map as an innovative, forward thinking, local partnership and pave the way for future developments, whilst always protecting the local environment, beautiful landscape, history and wildlife. A dementia friendly strategy will enable more people to benefit from the health and wellbeing opportunities available in this beautiful area.

Please join us lunch is included

To register for this event please contact Judith Dale at CASS: judith.dale@carersinformation.org.uk  

Or telephone CASS offices on 01785 222365

There is no charge for this event but a non-attended booking will incur a fee of £10

Places are limited so please book early.       Closing date is 22nd January 2016

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Anzac Puppy

A New Zealand author recently visited Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to visit the grave of the dog that inspired his award-winning children’s book.

In August Cannock Chase AONB welcomed Peter Millett, author of The Anzac Puppy, which is based on the dog Freda, the mascot of the New Zealand Rifles that were stationed at Cannock Chase in the First World War.

The writer met with the Friends of Cannock Chase and members of the Landor Society, which had both helped him with his research for the children’s book.

On this visit, Peter laid a poppy spray at the Commonwealth Cemetery and one on Freda’s grave. He also had a look around the World War One Hut at Marquis Drive.

Peter was in the UK for a week on a trip arranged by the publishers, Scholastic, to the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which took place towards the end of August.

Peter Millet said: “I first came across the story of Freda’s headstone being rededicated in late 2001.

“For portions of the last two decades I have been patiently contacting people and researching background information to create a children’s book about Freda and the Anzacs.

“The highlight of this enjoyable literary journey was coming to Cannock Chase and meeting the kind folk who have supported my project and shown great interest in my long distance endeavours. I hope my book encourages a younger generation of readers to visit the Chase from down under.”

The Anzac Puppy won the New Zealand Children’s Choice Award for Picture Books in August 2015.

The book was inspired by the true story of Freda, a Harlequin Great Dane dog the mascot of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade at Brocton Camp during the First World War. It’s a story about the reality of war, hardship, friendship and bravery. It was illustrated by Trish Bowles.

Marion Kettle, from the Landor Society and Friends of Cannock Chase, said: “After emails and phone calls with Peter, leading up to the publication of The Anzac Puppy, it was really lovely to meet him and show him the areas he had written about. We were able to help him with the final pieces of research from local archives to complete this thought provoking children’s book.”

With the help of Cannock Chase AONB Unit, the Friends of Cannock Chase are buying 20 copies of The Anzac Puppy to put into local libraries and schools.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Hero dogs remembered at special ceremony

Sixty-Five people and 20 dogs attended a ceremony at Cannock Chase to celebrate working dogs.

 

Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) held a remembrance ceremony for working dogs on 11 November.

 

The annual event, now in its sixth year, was inspired by Freda, a Harlequin Great Dane who was the New Zealand Rifles’ mascot when the regiment was stationed on Cannock Chase during the First World War. She died in 1918, while the regiment was training on Cannock Chase, and is buried there.

 

In memory of Freda, and dogs like her, the AONB held a ceremony at her grave, which is off Chase Road, near Stafford.

 

This year, 65 people and around 20 dogs gathered at Freda’s grave to take part in the ceremony.

 

The event included listening to readings and poems, and laying wreaths on the grave. It was attended by a number of civics, including the Stafford’s mayor and Mayoress, South Staffordshire Council’s Chairman and Lichfield District Council’s Chairman.

 

Freda’s grave is 0.6 miles south east of Brocton Village, near Stafford. It is marked ‘Meml’ on the Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 244 – Cannock Chase and its grid reference is SJ978188.

 

The Milford Common Trail passes the grave. A leaflet is available from the nearby Cannock Chase Visitor Centre at Marquis Drive in Cannock Chase Country Park.

 

For more information about Cannock Chase AONB, please contact Emma Beaman on 01785 619186 or email cannock.chase@staffordshire.gov.uk

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment