New woodland and wild space nears completion
Press Releases - 31/01/2017
A project to enhance a wild community space at a Coleford recreation ground is near completion.
The Angus Buchanan VC Memorial Recreation Ground Trust was delighted to receive a grant of nearly £5,000 in September 2015 from the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust (GET) towards a community biodiversity project.
Trustee and volunteer project co-ordinator, Sarah Cheese, said: "Over 100 young people have taken part in planting the one acre coppice woodland which contains 900 trees of 16 native species in the last year.
"I am delighted that this project has provided a springboard for us to build links with Gloucestershire College Five Acres Campus, providing volunteering opportunities for young people to gain experience of working on a community conservation project which benefits wildlife and enhances their local community space".
The Gloucestershire College students have been helping clear scrub from a meadow edge.
Curriculum leader for Foundation Studies, Sharon Batcock, described how "students were really animated and engaged during this work" and said that it had restored her thinking that outdoor practical tasks are valuable for these students who learn skills and contribute to their local community.
Hartpury College agriculture students also got stuck in and helped crack on with the tree planting.
An interpretation board has also been installed to provide information about the meadow habitat. One meadow at the recreation ground is a Key Wildlife Site which is an example of unimproved grassland containing over fifty species of wild plants; only 2% of this priority habitat remains nationally.
Advice from Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT) has helped to develop a management plan to enhance wildlife across all the meadows and conserve them for future generations.
Visitors to the meadows are also invited to pause and take a breather thanks to the installation of a bench, designed by a local sculptor Phil Bews and installed by Tom Cousins, made of locally sourced sweet chestnut logs donated by Peter Chamberlain.
Members of the Dean Meadows Group will be leading free wildflower walks around the meadows for National Meadows Day on 1 July. For details visit their website www.deanmeadows.org.uk nearer the time.
The grant from Gloucestershire Environment Trust was applied for with the assistance of the GWT's community wildlife officer Rosie Kelsall as part of their 'My Wild Space' project.