A model of the Saltash Celtic Cross
Cadets from the Plymouth and Cornwall Air Training Corps will help clear Elwell Woods in Saltash this weekend as part of the preparations for the installation of the stunning Cornish Cross.
Just over the Tamar Bridge, into Cornwall, there is a little patch of forgotten woodland. Overlooked until recently, when the Saltash Waterfront Residents’ Association (SWRA) secured Community Spaces funding to turn wasteland into a wooded area complete with fitness equipment, picnic areas, a small orchard and a 20 metre high Celtic Cross.
Elwell Woods, overlooking the River Tamar was a patch of wasteland that has grown into a small sycamore wood over the last 60 years. However, after many years of neglect, the area is full of rubble and debris that needs clearing. Some of the stone rubble will be set aside for dry stone-walling scheduled for November
Local Air Cadets from the Saltash Wing have been recruited to help with the clearing up and in return, some of them will get the chance to learn about dry stone walling at training days organised for next month.
Joe Ellison, Project Leader for SWRA said: “Having the Cadets on board is a real boost. There is a lot of work to be done clearing rubble and preparing the site for the dry stone walling training days we are holding with Cornwall Wildlife Trust.
“It’s a really exciting part of the project to be able to hold training events like these and a good way to say thank you to our volunteers. We want Elwell Woods and the Celtic Cross to be part of the community – somewhere people can meet up, enjoy a quiet walk and the stunning view across the river.”
The 20 metre Celtic Cross, designed by Cornish sculptor, Simon Thomas, is being constructed at Newquay Airport, made from leading edge aerospace materials such as glass and carbon fibre to resemble copper. SWRA wants the Cross to become the ‘gateway to Cornwall’ and to become as firmly fixed on the tourist map as the Angel of the North, attracting visitors to the area and boosting the local economy.
Flt Lt Warren Bowden of the OC 335 (Saltash) Squadron said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the Cadets. Elwell Woods are right on our doorstep and to see them change and develop from abandoned ground into something that will benefit the community is tremendous.
“They are looking forward to getting stuck in and learning new skills as well as watching the woods take shape over the coming months.”
The Elwell Woods project, including the Cornish Cross, has been made possible largely through a £450,000 flagship grant from Community Spaces. The project has also received funding and support from Cornwall Council, Saltash Town Council, Caradon District Council and the Duchy of Cornwall.