AT the March meeting Sylvia welcomed members and read out apologies from three ladies who were unable to attend.

Shethanked EileenandSuefor providing the tea, coffee and cakes for this meeting and also to the craft class for their contributions to the sales table.

Trips were mentioned again and everyone should have their monthly update of events to refer to.

Eight members attended the group meeting at the Trinity Centre, hosted by Lickey WI and were entertained by Tony Breedon. He played the keyboard and sang songs from the musicals while everyone joined in. The craft group was held at Sue’s and members were helped by Norma to make various items to sell at meetings and local events.

The craft group will be pleased to help any of our members who wish to enter the annual council meeting craft competition in October. The skittles group met in Catshill on March 20 and played Lickey WI.

The walking group, organised by Carolynne, got off to a good start with a walk from Blackwell to Burcot and back with a stop for lunch. The next walk will be on April 2. The trip to Highgrove has been finalised and arrangements for the summer outing to the Barber Institute and Winterbourne House and Gardens are under way.

Members gave feedback to the group from the meeting at Cutnall Green, which was about promoting your WI.

Jules mentioned plans regarding the Diamond Jubilee and told us about the new and nearly new sale, which will be held at Blackwell and Burcot Village Hall on April 14.

Sylvia introduced our speaker Margaret Anderson.

Her subject, the Woodland Trust, is quite topical in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year as the planned planting of six million trees to celebrate the event gets under way.

For more details see jubileewoods. Margaret joined the trust in 1999 as a volunteer and did a training course to be a speaker on the subject of ancient trees. She is now the secretary at Pepper Wood, the local reserve in Bromsgrove, and is very knowledgeable about the ancient trees and their habitat. A wood containing bluebells and wood anemones is an indication that it is an ancient wood.

Trees are crucial to life on earth. They produce oxygen and play host to a wide variety of wildlife providing raw materials and shelter.

Margaret talked about the work taking place to preserve local woods, which she illustrated with slides. She also said she hoped more young people would get involved as the majority of people volunteering are in the older age group.

TheWoodlandTrustwoodsare open and free for everyone to visit both members and non members alike. Margaret was thanked for a very interesting talk. Tea, coffee, and cake was served, the raffle drawn and the meeting closed at 10pm.

Our next meeting is on April 19 when Wendy Hill will talk about Edward Elgar.