Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Trainee sailors lend their support to Elwell Woods

16 October 2017
Trainee sailors from HMS Raleigh have planted daffodils and bluebells in an area of Saltash used by members the public.

The group lent their support to the Saltash Waterside Residents Association at Elwell Woods, where they also cut back brambles and overgrowth.

HMS Raleigh instructor Petty Officer Ricky Abram-Giles said: “These trainees are part of Crean Division, our rehabilitation unit for anyone who has suffered injury or illness during training.

It’s good for them to have a break from their day-to-day routine at HMS Raleigh and great to re-establish links between HMS Raleigh and Saltash.”

Some of the trainees were able to bring skills learnt in their civilian life to the project.

Recruit Toby Ranner, aged 19, from Cambridge, previously undertook groundwork for music festivals and also worked in landscape gardening. He said: “I’ve been using the power tools to clear areas around the site. It’s nice to come back and do something like this.”

I’ve been hands-on showing the others what to do. Being in the Royal Navy and helping out the community is one of the best things.

Recruit Luke Belshaw

Recruit Luke Belshaw has experience of working on an allotment for his Duke of Edinburgh award. The 20-year-old, from Durham, said: “I’ve been hands-on showing the others what to do. Being in the Royal Navy and helping out the community is one of the best things.”

The area, now known as Elwood Woods, was originally used to store construction plant for the road bridge over the River Tamar.

It was closed to the public and forgotten about for over 50 years, until the project giving it a new lease of life was started in 2009. A grant from the National Lottery helped to transform the neglected wasteland into two acres of peaceful community woodland with the iconic Cornish Cross forming the centrepiece of the project.

Jim Ellison, Chairman of the Saltash Waterside Association said: “The residents association have undertaken quite a lot of projects, down by the waterside particularly, but this was the biggest project we ever had.

"The area was opened in 2013 and it was passed back to Cornwall Council. As a residents association we still try to do a bit of maintenance. The Raleigh team has been great. I think they’ve quite enjoyed helping.”

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.