Woburn Watch December: Your monthly insight into the build of Woburn Forest

Season’s greetings from Woburn Forest! This month we’ve been busy decorating trees and volunteering at Flitwick Moor, while construction director Don Camilleri reveals the secret behind his stress-free outlook

Center Parcs sponsored and decorated four trees for Marston Vale
Center Parcs sponsored and decorated four trees for Marston Vale
Hard at work! Volunteers clear the scrub at Flitwick Moor
Hard at work! Volunteers clear the scrub at Flitwick Moor
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Center Parcs sponsored and decorated four trees for Marston Vale
Center Parcs sponsored and decorated four trees for Marston Vale
Hard at work! Volunteers clear the scrub at Flitwick Moor
Hard at work! Volunteers clear the scrub at Flitwick Moor

There’s something rather enchanting about a forest at Christmas and, despite being a construction site, there’s still something very festive about Woburn Forest. If you picture what Santa’s workshop would be like on Christmas Eve, that’s probably the best way to describe Woburn at the moment; lots of people hard at work with the excitement of the big day just around the corner.

A seasonal start to the month was had by some of the Woburn Forest staff who visited the Forest of Marston Vale to we have sponsored for the Christmas Tree Festival. Many of the Woburn Forest team know the Forest of Marston Vale well, as we have funded some planting of trees, as well as holding some of our inductions and training there. The Forest Centre is only a few miles from Woburn Forest and it’s a really beautiful place.

Spirit of Christmas
In the true spirit of giving at Christmas, volunteers from the Woburn Forest team ventured a few miles away to Flitwick Moor and helped to clear some scrub. The clearance – the gardening equivalent of tidying – in the meadow at Flitwick Moor will help wildlife to flourish, which will be great to see over the next few months as we move towards spring. When I first put a note out to the Woburn Forest team asking for volunteers there was an incredible amount of interest; I actually had to pick names out of a (construction) hat as we could only have 12 volunteers. It was a cold day but everyone really got stuck in. I’d like to give a quick thank you to The Wildlife Trust for organising the day, we hope we made a real difference!

Don’t worry, be happy
Don Camilleri, Woburn Forest’s Construction Director visited me the other day, as he does fairly often, to update me on the progress of the build. Don’s always smiling and even though we are at the peak of the build activity where you expect him to be stressed, he still wears a smile wherever he goes. It seems praying to the weather gods has worked so far this winter; at this point in the conversation we both peer out of the window to assess our own statement further. The buildings are looking good and it will soon be time to fill the lakes at the Village Square, which will really bring the area to life.

“I received a call from the General Manager’s Secretary the other day, introducing herself, and it hit me – gosh, it’s a matter of weeks until this won’t be a construction site anymore; it’ll be a finished, beautiful, operational Village”

In January, the first lodges will be handed over to Center Parcs and they are looking fantastic! The furniture is still to arrive but I have heard the beds are on the way so it won’t be long until they look ready for families. There are lots of checks and tests to do to these lodges over the next few months which we need to complete before opening.

Baby of the business
Recruitment has been a huge job over the past year, with about 500 people on board before Christmas and another 1,000 to be recruited between January and March. I received a call from the General Manager’s Secretary the other day, introducing herself, and it hit me – gosh, it’s a matter of weeks until this won’t be a construction site anymore; it’ll be a finished, beautiful, operational Village.

What has also occurred to me when I look at the weekly updates with an ever-growing list of staff updates is the huge amount of support from the existing Villages for the new Center Parcs location. It’s been like older siblings nurturing a new addition to the family. It does sound sappy but it’s great being part of such a supportive extended team.

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas everyone, I’ll update you again in January!

See you next time,
Jessica

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Jessica Marshall-Pearce

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Jessica Marshall-Pearce

Since becoming the Woburn Forest Press Officer in 2012 I have had the privilege of spreading the word on our fifth Village, from the planning, construction and recruitment to the nature, local engagement and operations. Get the latest on Woburn Forest with my monthly updates.