VOLUNTEERS traded their spades for cake as they celebrated completing a six-year conservation project.
The team from The Friends of Nore Barn Woods in Emsworth had been working since 2010 on the Shore Conservation Project to help protect the coastal woodlands near Emsworth and on the waterfront of Chichester Harbour.
Yesterday, members of the group held an event to commemorate the efforts of all those involved in the scheme. A ribbon was cut to honour the refurbished woodland, with the group and the public attending to share cake and congratulations.
After six years, the final phase of the three-stage project, refurbishing a footpath, was finished in March this year.
The group worked hard raising thousands of pounds to preserve the coastline walk area and make it safer for the public.
Maggie Gebbett, from Friends of Nore, who was fundraiser for phase two, said: ‘It’s an area of calm and tranquillity which is very accessible and loved by so many.
‘We wanted to make it as safe as possible to protect the woods for the future and ensure it remained really popular with users.
‘It has been hard work and but it’s fantastic it has finished as it will really ensure the future of the woods is protected for people to enjoy.’
Mike Thomas, the project co-ordinator, spoke at the event to explain the project’s value to the community.
He said: ‘It’s been a fantastic project.
‘My job was made easier by the huge amount of support we received from friends and the community.
‘It is a good example of how the people of Emsworth have come together for the common good.’
Maggie added: ‘Mike has been the driving force that kept us going throughout, because there were times when it was uphill and without him we wouldn’t have been able to do it.’