Cookham community news: woodland wonders unearthed at talk

George Roberts

Cookham community news: woodland wonders unearthed at talk

Woodland wonders unearthed at talk

A naturalist who has made programmes with Sir David Attenborough will give a talk about a woodland he bought eight years ago.

In 2011, Richard Fortey purchased Grim Dyke Wood, in the Chilterns, near where he lives in Henley.

In the years since, he has discovered an iron age earthwork, rare animals such as the dormouse, rare plants, and more than 250 species of beetle.

On Thursday, September 12, Richard will give a talk at the Odney Club on the beech wood and his book, The Wood For the Trees, based on a year in its life.

He said: “We found several animals and plants that were really rare, and that was a great thrill. We realised we are stewards of the wood really, not just owners of it.”

Before he bought the wood, Richard worked for the Natural History Museum, and presented several documentaries for the BBC.

Over the last few years, he has been tracing back the woodland’s roots, finding that it was first used for fuelling boats.

Since then, the wood has been used to make furniture, tent pegs and the backs of brushes, but since the 1950s it has laid dormant.

He said: “You couldn’t do the natural history of the wood without looking at the human history of the wood, because they are intertwined for hundreds of years.”

Speaking about his time working with Sir David, he added: “He’s one of those people that although he’s incredibly famous, what you see is what you get.

“I’ve known him for a long time, the first thing I did with him was way back in the 1980s.”

To register for the talk visit

Calling all film buffs for seven-week movie course

Film buffs will have a chance to brush up on their movie knowledge at a course starting this month.

Re-evaluating the Recent Past in Film, a seven-week course, will take place once a week at Elizabeth House, Station Hill, starting from Thursday, September 19.

Each week, the group will look at a different critically acclaimed film released in 2001, examining why some remained popular and others faded out of people’s minds.

Each of the six films on the watch list is from a different country, with flicks from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Norway,

The course is one of many run by the Workers Educational Association in Maidenhead, Marlow and Cookham.

All the films to be studied are available to borrow on DVD.

The course costs £63 and runs from 7.30pm to 9.30pm every Thursday.

To book a place on the course and get the full film list call Steph Diggon on 01628 563676 or email maidenhead.branch@

Join talk on preserving wild habitats

A wildlife expert is set to give a talk on the West Berkshire Living Landscape (WBLL) next month.

Taking place at Lea Barn, in Winter Hill, Hilary Philips of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trusts will give an address on Wednesday, October 9 at 7.30pm.

The WBLL covers 27sq km including the river valleys of the Enborne and Kennet and contains at least 97 threatened or endangered species, such as the Dartford warbler and woodlark.

At the talk, Hilary will explain how volunteers help to maintain the habitats and carry out surveys.

To register visit

Races on the water and fun on the land

The village’s favourite on-water event takes place this weekend.

Cookham Regatta, hosted by the Cookham Bridge and Marlow rotary clubs, takes place on the Thames by Marsh Meadow on Saturday from 10am to 5pm.

All kinds of fun races will occur on the water, like the canoe cats – two canoes strapped together to form a catamaran.

The ever-popular Dragon boat racing will also make a return.

For the land-lubbers that come along, there will be plenty of off-water entertainment to keep them busy, with team events including volleyball, tug of war and the ‘funny-walk’.

Cookham Regatta was first held more than 100 years ago, in 1882.

Each year the event raises about £15,000 for charity.

Elvis evening to get crowd shook up

The King is coming to Cookham for a night of rock, roll and fundraising.

Pinder Hall, in Lower Road, will host an Elvis evening on Friday, September 27 to raise money for Bloodwise.

Starting at 7.30pm, the audience will enjoy all the old favourites while eating a two-course meal. There will also be a raffle.

Once everyone has eaten, the music will continue.

For £22 tickets call 01628 524561

Charity golf day and dinner

Winter Hill Golf Club will host a charity golf day tomorrow (Friday).

Proceeds from the fundraiser will go to Thames Hospice and British Heart Foundation.

The team entry fee is £1,000, including 18 holes, a four-course meal, gifts and more. To enter call 01628 527613.


TODAY (Thursday): Aerobics at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 6.30pm-8pm.

Friday: Zumba at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 9.30am-10.30am.

Winter Hill Charity Golf Day at Winter Hill Golf Club, Grange Lane. Call 01628 527613 to register and for timings.

Saturday: Cookham Regatta at Marsh Meadow. 12pm-4pm.

Swing Dance at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 7.30pm-10.15pm.

Sunday: Choral Evensong at Holy Trinity Church, Church Gate. 6.30pm-7.15pm.

Monday: Diddy Disco at Cookham Rise Methodist Church, Lower Road. 9.30am-10.30am and 10.30am-11.30am.

Tuesday: Sweaty Mama at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 10.45am-11.45am.

Jewellery Valuations at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 11am-5pm.

Stageworks at Pinder Hall, Lower Road.

Wednesday: WWG Badminton at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 7.30pm-9.30pm.

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