Passionate about protecting and enhancing green spaces in West Lindsey

Date published: 07 December 2018
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Volunteers gathered at a special event to celebrate the work they have done in the parks and woodlands of Gainsborough.

More than 30 people turned up at the event to showcase some of the before and after pictures at Ashcroft park and Mercer Wood. They have been clearing rubbish, creating pathways, making hand rails, planting flowers and much more to spruce up the town’s green spaces.

The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) have been working on a number of sites in the district. The West Lindsey Project Officer, Darren Northcliffe, said: “On average I work with about 15 volunteers a week to protect the green spaces so that more people can enjoy them. It is good for them to do something positive and encourage more people to use the spaces.”

The Hastings Centre in Gainsborough have had a number of volunteers who have been carrying out work in the town.

Mandy Lawson, a day opportunities worker, at the centre said: “We love to get out and work with other people. It’s a great way for us to burn off our energy and get to use the skills we have learnt. Our volunteers have not only helped to build walkways and hand rails but also grow their own vegetables for cooking and craft sessions.”

Stephen Collins (54) volunteer from The Hastings Centre, said: “I have enjoyed getting together in a workforce and really making a difference. I love the green spaces and we have seen lots of new wildlife since doing some of the work.”

Thomas Morrison (43) volunteer from The Hastings Centre, has helped clear litter from the green spaces and helped make it more accessible to visitors in Mercer Wood. He said: “I enjoyed helping with the walkway and putting the hand rails in. It would be great if we had more and I love going for nice walks in the woods”.

Jonathan Roy (41) has been looking after the green spaces in Mercer Wood. He said: “I love going for walks in the Green spaces and I like Mercer Woods. I enjoyed putting the new handrails in. It would be great to see more people visiting the woods and looking at the work we have done. It would be great to get more help.”

Chairman of the Council, Cllr Pat Mewis, hosted the celebration event, which was held at the Guildhall to talk about some of the success they have had.

She said: “It was wonderful to meet all the volunteers and talk to them about the work they have been doing. I wanted to personally thank them for giving up their time to protect and enhance our green spaces.

“Maintaining our parks and woodlands is very important to our communities. Not only are they places which are good to look at and see wildlife and plants, but they also provide opportunities to improve our health and wellbeing by getting out and about.”

Mayor of Gainsborough Cllr Richard Craig also thanked all the volunteers. He said: “Our green spaces are a huge importance to us and we need to protect as many green spaces for future generations. I would like to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers and St Johns Ambulance for their support.”

Cllr Mike Hopper Chairman of the Gainsborough Neighbourhood Plan Committee said the town council commissioned a study to review all the green spaces in and around the town.

He said: “The review came at a time when we had issues with people accessing doctor’s surgeries. We realised that our health is important and we need to do something to increase the amount of walking and cycling that people can do.

“The Neighbourhood Plan Committee would like to ensure green spaces are built into our living environment. We want a network of pathways within the town centre that would link all green spaces together. We want to be able to give people a choice to choose different routes.”

Volunteer, Jackie Applebee has been supporting a group of children from various clubs working in Ashcroft Park. She said: “I am very proud of the kids and all the people that have supported them. Ashcroft Park is a totally inclusive park and we are looking to how we can make it even better in the future.”

West Lindsey District Councillor, Gill Bardsley, has chaired the Mercer Wood Community Group since it opened. She said: “The support and hard work of volunteers had been crucial to enhancing biodiversity in the wood. Their regular help is so much appreciated, and this Civic reception has been an occasion to say thank you. Residents above all have enjoyed the new paths and cleaner surroundings."

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