You wrote to Wansford Parish Council some time ago about the plastic bins in the village. You were 8 years old then and I suspect you are now a bit older but we promised to take some action. You said that we should have wooden bins instead of plastic ones because plastic is not good for our environment. Well, we’ve made a start on this by installing a new bin made with recycled wood opposite St Mary’s Church in Wansford which has been constructed by a man called Graham. We shall make more in the future.
The bin is made of larch wood which has most likely come from the large expanses of forest in Finland. There, larch trees grow very tall and straight and its wood is often used to build houses and make paper for books and newspapers. Finnish forests are managed sustainably so that a new tree is planted each time a tree is felled. You may be interested to know that the forests of Finland are home to an elusive bird called capercaillie which in our country is an endangered species. It looks a bit like a turkey but its feathers are brown and black and it makes a deep clicking noise. The bark on larch trees is very useful for Finland’s bears and elks to scratch their backs and Finnish forests are home to chanterelle mushrooms and cloudberries which look like gold-coloured blackberries.
A larch tree is a deciduous conifer because it loses its needles in the autumn and stands to attention with its branches growing downwards. This helps snow to slide off its branches during the very cold Finnish winters where it is often -20c. The fur of rabbits and hares turn white in winter so that they cannot easily be seen in the snow.
I hope that when you pass the larch bin in Wansford you will think of the forest from where it came, its capercaillie, bears, elks, white hares, rabbits, chanterelles and cloudberries and maybe one day you will visit the forests of Finland to see the larch trees and all that live amongst them.
With best wishes,
Wansford Parish Clerk