Anthony Read - 2017 blog posts archive
Community Park Ranger
Anthony has stopped his weekly postings, but you can still read his stories here ...
Anthony Read is a Community Park Ranger at Adur & Worthing Councils. His main role is to maintain our parks and open spaces. This includes working with green space volunteer community groups across Adur and Worthing helping them with various projects and supporting them in developing their groups.
Anthony has two young children and feels that these groups are a great way for our green spaces to reach their full potential for generations to come.
You can read Anthony's archived 2017 blog posts on this page below:
Hello again. This week I am handing over to The Conservation Volunteer (TCV) team again as they have new staff who are keen to promote their project, which aims to boost happiness and healthiness in two communities in Adur and Worthing. I hope you enjoy.
My name is Gwenn, I am one of the new addition to The Conservation Volunteer (TCV) team based in council depot at Commerce Way in Lancing.
As the community engagement officer for the Growing Communities project I will be in direct contact with the residents in the communities of Northbrook and Eastbrook. I look forward to meeting some of you along the way.
Earlier this month, the fantastic Growing Communities was launched.
Being about outdoors and public open spaces, this project works in close collaboration with the dedicated Council Park Rangers.
And as per usual their team stepped in to help out with the event.
Only this time, there was no spade nor shovel involved.
I would like to take this opportunity to give the Park rangers a big thank you for being so helpful and proactive in supporting our project and all Adur and Worthing communities.
The launch represents the seed stage of the project and we are planning on giving it a good level of care, light and nutrients to ensure strong rooting and healthy branching out until full bloom can be witnessed by all.
Residents are given the chance to be part of the change they want to see in their neighbourhood.
This message must be shared and celebrated.
This collaborative approach between the council and a charity like The Conservation Volunteer is a fantastic way to deliver such grassroots level of intervention.
It is a privilege to be part of this pioneer community-led project and I genuinely hope it will leave a valuable legacy to those communities involved.
Photo: Park Ranger Anthony and Councillor Val Turner the winner of the apple peeling competition! The prize - well - apple tart of course!
Photo: Anthony enjoying a bit of autumn leaves craft activities. Witness the focus and dedication!
Hello again and welcome to my weekly blog.
Before I start my blog this week I would like to thank Peter Whish and John Haigh for writing their blogs while I have been on leave, I hope you enjoyed them.
I am writing this after spending the evening trick or treating with my wife and two daughters who were dressed as a pumpkin witch and a spider witch and both looked like the scariest and cutest witches in town (although I may be a little bias in that).
Whilst we were out it occurred to me how bad a rep bats get.
Between the vampire films, spooky decorations, and blood-sucking ghost stories, you'd think they were all out to get us. That couldn't be further from the truth: Bats are relatively harmless and rarely bite humans - unless provoked. (So don't poke!)
Forget their fearsome reputation, and consider trying to attract bats rather than avoid them.
The number of bats in the UK has gone down significantly during the last hundred years, so there are far fewer bats than there used to be.
This is because of things such as the places bats roost and the places they find insects, such as trees and woodlands, have been destroyed to make way for buildings and roads.
Also the use of pesticides has meant there are less insects around for bats to feed on and these chemicals can also harm bats themselves.
These small and fascinating creatures often live in close proximity to us, using our gardens as an important source of food, water and shelter.
As their natural habitats become more scarce, our gardens are playing a more important role in securing a future for bats.
Bats are a sign of a green and healthy environment, so creating a garden that's good for bats will also be good for people. With that in mind here are a few simple steps to creating a bat welcoming garden.
Plant night-scented flowers to attract insects in at night and let some of your garden go a little wild as this makes a great habitat for the insects bats love to eat - building a pond or small bog garden would also help with this.
Putting a bat box up would be a huge help to bats but patience is required with this as it could take several years for it to be inhabited as bats are quite picky about where they roost.
Reducing or removing artificial lighting in your garden will be a big pull as will keeping cats indoors at night as bats are a tasty treat for our feline companions and i am sure that the last thing any of you cat lovers out there want is a half eaten bat as a present.
These are just a few idea's for you and you can find more information at the bat conservation society online. These are fascinating creatures and lovely to watch at dusk so please encourage them and enjoy them.
We have a special guest blogger standing in for Anthony Read this week - John Haigh from The Conservation Volunteers...
I would like to introduce you to an exciting project 'Growing Communities' that is currently being delivered in Adur & Worthing initially focusing on the Northbrook area of Worthing (Durrington and Salvington) and the Eastbrook area of Adur (Fishersgate and Southwick).
The Growing Communities Project is a partnership between The Conservation Volunteers and Adur & Worthing Council., we successfully applied to the National Lottery Big Lottery Fund and have been granted £660,000 to run the project over an initial three years!
The project aims to enable more people to access their local parks and green spaces and in so improve the health and happiness of local people. We want communities to be more in control of their lives and actively engaged in the decisions and actions that affect them.
The activities delivered will be decided by YOU, with full support provided by the project and its partners. So far activities identified include: family activities, community allotments, health/nature walks, nature trails and community events.
Do you have additional ideas? To ensure that as many people that want to get involved can do, we will be holding weekly drop in sessions at local venues where people can come in and have a chat about how they would like to get involved or what they would like to see. We will also be providing training to all those interested ensuring they have the skills and confidence to play a full role in shaping this exciting project.
We have the opportunity to make sure that the fantastic variety of parks and green spaces in Adur & Worthing are used to their full potential and reflect the needs of local communities. But this can only be achieved if local people get involved and shape the Growing Communities Project.
If you have any questions or would like to get involved them please contact us - TCV or the Park Rangers - and we will be happy to discuss the possibility of making them a reality.
Tel: 01903 753526
Hello I'm Peter Whish, Community Engagement Manager, and I'm writing this week's blog for Anthony who is one of my team.
The Oaks Community Project works with adults with learning difficulties and who experience a range of challenges.
We have been working with them and our Friends of groups at Whitebeam Woods, West Durrington and The Plantation in Goring to improve the habitat of these valuable woodlands.
This not only benefits the flora and fauna but most importantly benefits the participants who receive training in the use of tools and in the results of their activities, increasing both physical and mental capabilities by working in the open air on an important conservation project.
Last week this work was recognised with a CPRE (Council for the Protection of Rural England) Sussex Countryside Award 2017 in the Environmental Education category that we were thrilled to receive at Petworth House.
Chris Hughes from the Oaks, Dan a client at the project and his proud mum Elaine set off on a wet evening and found the grand main gates at the National Trust House deep in rural Sussex. Toot twice on arrival were the instructions.
Welcomed as guests of Lord and Lady Egremont with excellent Sussex sparkling wine and canapes and were treated to a private view of the magnificent art collection before the awards. We could get used to this we thought.
It was exciting for us to win an overall award and particularly for Dan who's woops and cheers livened the proceedings as others were presented, Dan suddenly became quiet as our project was announced, a very proud moment.
A big thank you to the team who made this possible and shown how getting involved in our greenspaces is valued by the community.
Photo: CPRE Judges visit The Oaks and Community Park Rangers on their fortnightly task day at The Plantation in Goring
Photo: Community Park Ranger Keith Walder helps Dan and Chris from The Oaks Community Project to log up coppiced hazel at Whitebeam Wood
Photo: The CPRE (Council for the Protection of Rural England) Sussex Countryside Award 2017 - certificate and plaque
Hello and welcome again to my weekly blog.
This week on Monday night I met up with a fantastic group of people who like to do good deeds whilst staying fit and healthy.
They have been busy doing some general maintenance on some of our green spaces across the area helping out the various community groups involved.
You may of heard of them or seen them running on a Monday evening - they are the Good Gym.
They are a community of runners that combine getting fit with doing good. They stop off on their runs to do physical tasks for community organisations and to support isolated older people with social visits and one-off tasks they can't do on their own. It's a great way to get fit, meet new people and do some good and as long as you're up for getting sweaty, everyone's welcome.
This week was their first visit to Haynes Road Community Garden and their task was to clear the bindweed along the fence and rake up all the grass and weeds that had been strimmed down by myself earlier in the day. They arrived at 6:30pm ish with their head torches on and immediately set to work. In the half hour that they were there they managed to clear all the grass and bindweed along with numerous empty cans and bottles and other litter. They filled two large bulk bags with green waste swept up and left to carry on with their run.
The Goodgym has been running in Worthing since March and have helped on several green spaces involved with community groups in Worthing. They are very enthusiastic and can have a large impact in a short space of time so if you know of a community green space that could benefit from a flying visit from them then get in touch with the parks department and we shall try to arrange it.
Photo: Runners hard at work clearing and tidying Haynes Road Community Garden
Photo: A much tidier Haynes Road Community Garden after the clear up
At this time of year you may think that volunteer groups will start to do less and less as the weather gets colder and wetter but you couldn't be more mistaken.
There are several large tasks that need to be done in the autumn and several of the greenspace community groups will be meeting up on regular task days to achieve this work.
Although these groups can and do ask for help from the community park rangers what they really need is more members of their local community to come along and get involved.
It's a great feeling doing work that you have volunteered to do and meeting people from from your local area so I thought I would just mention a few groups that meet up for regular task days.
On the first Saturday of every month Friends of Broadwater Cemetery meet at 10am to do clearance work and grave maintenance as well as developing wild meadow areas and Friends of Southwick Square Gardens meet at 11am to do general tidy ups and planting.
Ilex Conservation Group based over in Sea Lane, Goring, meet on the second Saturday of every month at 10am to maintain all the young trees that have been planted, to clear brambles and pathways.
Friends of Heene Cemetery meet up every Tuesday and Saturday at 2pm to clear graves and maintain the cemetery.
On the third Saturday of every month Friends of Lancing Ring meet at 10am to do various tasks depending on their management plan and Friend of Whitebeam Woods meet at 10am to do woodland management tasks.
These are just a few of the groups that work on green spaces across the area but you can find out about other groups on the Adur & Worthing Council website or by contacting the Parks and Foreshore department on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can't emphasize enough how much fantastic work all the groups we work with do and every time I meet up with them their enthusiasm never diminishes so if you see them working and want to help just ask, they will definitely say yes.
Photo: Friends of Lancing Ring
Photo: Ilex Conservation Group hard at work
Hello again and welcome to another one of my weekly blogs.
This week one of the community groups that we work with welcomed a very special couple to live on the green space that they help to manage. I am not at liberty to divulge the location or the group involved as this particular couple demand privacy and want to settle in fully before the public know they are living there.
Why all the secrecy you may ask? Well. this particular couple are a pair of hedgehogs that were given to the group by Brent Lodge wildlife hospital and they just need peace and quiet to adjust and explore their new surroundings.
The plight of the hedgehog in Britain appears to be worsening, with a new survey revealing a further decline in garden sightings. The spiky creature was once a common sight, with the population estimated at 30 million in the 1950s. But that has plummeted to fewer than one million today, with a third of this loss thought to have taken place in the past decade. The decline is not entirely understood but the main factors are thought to be the loss of their habitat in Britain’s towns and countryside – where farming has intensified – as well as road deaths.
With this in mind I thought I would share a few ideas on how we can all help these very lovable creatures and make sure that they are still around for future generations to see in the wild.
Firstly with regards to feeding hedgehogs if you are lucky enough to have them visiting your garden: food and fresh water will encourage hedgehogs to return. Leave out foods like minced meat, tinned dog or cat food (not fish-based), crushed cat biscuits, or chopped boiled eggs. Never feed hedgehogs milk as it can cause diarrhoea; instead provide plain, fresh water in a shallow bowl.
Hedgehogs are a gardener’s friend, as they eat snails, slugs and insects so be a friend to them by leaving areas of the garden ‘wild’, with piles of leaf litter and logs. These are an attractive nest as well as a home for the invertebrates (slugs, beetles) that hedgehogs like to eat. Also put holes at the base of your fence so they can get from garden to garden easily as a hedgehog will travel up to 3 km in one night and making an artificial home can be as simple as placing a piece of board against a wall.
Check for hedgehogs before using strimmers or mowers, particularly under hedges where animals may rest and check compost heaps for nesting hogs before forking over.
Another thing to do especially with November 5th approaching is to build bonfires as close to time of lighting as possible and check them thoroughly before lighting.
If we can all do this then hopefully numbers will increase and our children's children will still have that excitement when they see a hedgehog in their garden just like I did when I was a boy and I am sure a lot of you did to.
Hello and welcome once again to my blog.
This week I have a question for you; Have you noticed any extra tenants in your home lately?
Namely eight legged ones! If you haven't so far then there is a good chance that you will do soon. As we head into Autumn the number of spiders in your home will usually start to increase, and the males sometimes venture into homes in search of a mate.
You might find one in your bathtub, or on your pillow so I thought that this week I would share a few tips on how to keep spiders at bay without harming them.
My wife Sue is not the biggest fan of arachnids (I presume neither are most of you!) so it usually comes down to me to remove any invaders from our home.
This is one species I removed this week with the help of my two year old daughter Varinia. It is a black lace weaver spider (pictured) and is usually found in the garden under rocks and logs. We found it climbing up one of the kitchen cupboards so very gently picked it up and had a good look at it as it crawled over mine and Varinia's hands and then gently let it out into the garden.
To stop them coming in during the Autumn we put conkers around our home in corners and on window sills. This is not a scientifically proven deterrent to spiders and more of an old wives tale but it certainly seems to work in our home.
Another method you can use is to spray window sills, doorways and any cracks with essential oils like lavender, peppermint, tea tree, citrus or eucalyptus which apparently spiders hate the smell of.
These methods are effective but inevitably some will make it indoors so if you are a bit wary of them and don't want to hurt them then a spider-catcher device is a great way of handling them without causing any harm and you can put them safely back in the garden where they should be.
What other tips do you have for keeping the spiders at bay?
- About the Black Lace Weaver (Amaurobius ferox) - on Wikipedia
This week I am handing the blog over to my colleague Duncan Thatcher. Take it away Duncan...
For the past year I have worked alongside Anthony and Keith as one of the Councils' Community Park Rangers. Sadly I am moving on to pastures new and just wanted to share some of my thoughts with you before I go.
A year has passed since I started exploring the green spaces of Adur and Worthing. I didn't know the area at all when I started, I have to confess I had low expectations! But there are some fantastic places here right on your doorstep, and some really dedicated volunteers in your community fighting to preserve them.
It only takes about half an hour to walk right out of town and into the South Downs National Park. You can visit Mill Hill National Nature Reserve in August and see Adonis Blue butterflies chasing around the chalk grassland. You can climb up to Lancing Ring in April and see a beautiful display of wood anemones and early purple orchids. Or you can walk up Honeysuckle Lane any time of year and enjoy a breathtaking view westwards towards the Isle of Wight.
But you don't have to go that far to find special places.
Whitebeam Woods, the last fragment of ancient woodland in Worthing, is just a short walk from Tesco in Durrington. Shoreham Beach is another National Nature Reserve and a wonderful example of a rare habitat; vegetated shingle. And Broadwater Cemetery is a haven for bats and butterflies right in town.
All of these places are looked after by our Community Groups - they really do make a difference and it has been a real privilege to work alongside them.
I wish them, and my colleagues the best of luck for the future.
Everyone here at Adur & Worthing Councils wish Duncan all the best in his next role - Anthony.
- Whitebeam Woods
- Shoreham Beach
- Broadwater Cemetery
- Mill Hill Local Nature Reserve
- Lancing Ring Local Nature Reserve
- Honeysuckle Lane
- South Downs National Park website
Hello and welcome once again to my weekly blog ...
This week I would like to tell you about the Friends of Heene Cemetery who are a particularly successful group that was formed in November 2014.
The cemetery, having been open since 1873, was closed for burials by an Act of Parliament after having been open for more than a hundred years.
The graveyard is an oasis for wildlife in the town centre where an abundance of grasses and herbs more usually associated with unimproved old meadows can be seen during the summer. In fact, it is designated a Sussex Site of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI).
The Friends of Heene Cemetery (which is known as St. Michael's Graveyard) carry out clearance work around the graves and control the increase of tree species and brambles encroaching on the cemetery.
They do this throughout the year with a working party which meets most Saturdays and Tuesdays (weather permitting).
The work of the group is supported by Adur and Worthing Parks and Foreshore Section and the Community Park Rangers but to be honest this group is so well organised that they only need our help with taking away green waste and heavier cutbacks that happen at the end of the summer.
Another large aim of the group is to research the 'residents' of the graveyard.
As they have cleared more and more graves they have found some interesting people buried there and there are four graves tended by the war graves commission.
The group organise tours and open days for the public where you can find out about the history of the residents as well as the flora and fauna present.
If you would like to have a tour or join in one of the working parties the please check the Facebook page Heene Cemetery to see when working party and tours will be happening.
Photo: Heene Cemetery
Whisper it quietly but the seasons are starting to change - and, as much as we don't want to admit it, autumn is round the corner.
Which means this week I don't feel too bad about telling you would about an event that is coming up on the 1st October 2017 in Field Place Manor House, Worthing.
The Green Dreams Community Food and Greenspaces Festival is an annual event in the calendar for Worthing and Adur, returning for its second year in 2017.
Offering something different, this event is designed and led by community based groups and organisations, bringing together a wide variety of local community and social enterprise groups involved in food projects, small scale local food producers and greenspace initiatives from both Adur and Worthing.
This is a brilliant opportunity to find out what’s going on in your local community and how you could get involved with lots of different local groups.
We, the Community Park Rangers, will be there sharing a stall with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and we will have information on all the community groups we work with across Adur and Worthing.
So if you are interested in getting involved with a community group that is local to you or would simply like to have a chat with us to see what we have been doing then come along and find us and we shall see you there.
Image: flyer for Green Dreams at Field Place Worthing - Sunday 1st October 2017, 10:30am to 4pm
This week the Community Park Rangers have been busy at work on a couple of tree planting schemes in the area. The first is a recently planted copse in Lancing Manor while the other is a copse planted in 2008 at Hillbarn recreation ground.
The copse at Lancing Manor was planted using the I Dig Trees program run by The Conservation Volunteers and OVO energy.
I Dig Trees is a programme OVO runs on behalf of their Greener Energy plan customers. It started in 2015, with 158,000 trees and up to April this year they planned to plant 250,000 saplings and improve over 1,250 green spaces right across the UK
This fantastic partnership programme is a great opportunity for any community group or volunteer wanting to join in and feel good by either planting trees or nominating a local community group to do so.
Along with Friends of Lancing Manor we planted a selection of trees back in February and this week we have been clearing around them and adding bark mulch to give the young trees the best chance of growing.
The copse at Hillbarn Rec is called Becket Copse and was planted by the pupils and staff from Thomas A Becket Middle School back in 2008. The project was run through a charity called Earth Restoration Service and the trees were grown in the school tree nursery.
Worthing Borough Council took on the maintenance of the woodland and this week the rangers were taking down the posts and wire fencing that have been protecting the area. This is now an established copse and how we hope the Lancing Manor one will be in years to come. Why plant trees?
Trees are beautiful - of course - but these projects are about so much more than aesthetic improvement.
Trees absorb rainwater runoff and prevent erosion. They encourage greater biodiversity as a home and food source for birds and insects, including critical pollinators like bees. If you can think of an area that could benefit from tree planting get in touch and you could help plant trees for future generations to admire and benefit from.
If you'd like to get involved in any activities like these the best person to email here at Councils is Peter.Whish@adur-worthing.gov.uk our community engagement manager.
Photo: Working with Friends of Lancing Manor planting trees in February 2017
Photo: This is now an established copse at Lancing Manor
This week the community park rangers have been working with the Friends of Shoreham Beach (FoSB) clearing an area of red Valerian.
In June 2006 Shoreham Beach was declared a Local Nature Reserve. The reason for this is its unusual vegetated shingle habitat. There are a few other vegetated shingle beaches in the South East of England, and even fewer in New Zealand and Japan, making Shoreham Beach a rare habitat worldwide.
The Friends of Shoreham Beach are volunteers with a deep love for the sea and its environs and are dedicated to protecting, enjoying and educating others about this rare Shingle Reserve.
The Reserve is owned by Adur District Council and managed by the Local Nature Reserve (LNR) Management Group which includes a variety of stakeholders and at present two FoSB committee members. FoSB work to support the LNR through raising public awareness in the plants and animals which live here and also awareness of their fragility in the face of inappropriate human activities.
As part of this commitment the Friends organise beach cleans, monitor rare species and remove invasive ones. In this way they hope to preserve the habitat for present and future generations.
The task this week has been to clear an area of red Valerian where it has become so thick that other plants are unable to grow or have disappeared from the beach. The plan is to see what will now grow on this area and then hopefully clear some other areas in the future but allow the Valerian to still be a large part of the habitat.
I will keep you posted on future blogs when their next task day will be and if you are interested in helping or finding out more then come along.
Photo: Community park ranger working with the Friends of Shoreham Beach clearing an area of red Valerian
Photo: Interpretive panel on Shoreham Beach about the Local Nature Reserve
One of the best things about being a park ranger is the number of people who meet on a daily basis.
This week I would like to tell you about the Adur and Worthing Green Space Partnership, an organisation that represents all local community groups that are active on green spaces in the area.
The Councils' Community Park Ranger team have been very active in supporting the development of this Partnership and have engaged with groups with which we have had little contact in the past.
An event to celebrate all the hard work these groups do was held at the Maybridge Keystone Centre in Raleigh Way, Worthing, with a barbecue and talks from key people involved in the creating, supporting and managing of the partnership.
I’m glad to say it was a great success with more than 50 people attending representing 12 community groups that work on green spaces in Adur and Worthing, as well as 14 organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors.
The green space partnership is a great way for all these groups to share ideas and advice as well as tools and materials and it was great to see all the networking that took place.
Other things that the rangers team have been doing this week are some basic maintenance and improvement tasks including repairing the cricket nets at Broadwater Green in Worthing, mulching some tree bases at a pocket park in Fishersgate and installing two benches for the Southlanders at Williams Road Village Green in Shoreham.
These benches were funded by the Tesco Bag for Life scheme which is another avenue for community groups to use for funding their projects.
Proof that every little helps! (other supermarkets are available...)
Photo: The green space partnership event
Hello again. It's been another busy week for the team of park rangers at Adur & Worthing Councils.
One of the things I love about my role is working with the community.
A few months ago Friends of Broadwater Cemetery (FBC) asked us if we could help in the construction of a composting area for them and this week we have been busy building it.
The FBC do a fantastic job in the cemetery reviving and preserving the graves and creating wild meadow areas and other habitats for wildlife.
On the last Saturday of every month (weather permitting) they have work parties there to carry out general clearance work and grave maintenance.
Through this work a lot of green waste is produced and in the past it has all been collected and disposed of which obviously has a cost to it.
Although the compost area won't take all the green waste produced it will certainly reduce the amount needed to be collected.
It was constructed out of sleepers in quite a basic way with the idea being that we can add or change the layout in the future if required.
My colleague Duncan will be attending their next work party on the 29th July 2017 at 10am to give advice on how to use the compost bay effectively and what should and should not go in it.
On a personal note I lost my wallet last Sunday and I didn't even know it until there was a knock at my door.
I answered and a gentleman asked if I was Anthony and handed me my wallet which he had found near where I had parked in town.
This man had taken the time to drive to my address to give it to me and this kind of community spirit is precisely the reason that I enjoy working with community groups.
I didn't get his name but if he happens to read this then thanks again.
Photo: New composting bay at Broadwater Cemetery
This week has been quite interesting for me as hopefully a new community group is going to be formed.
As you may be aware there has been quite a lot of public interest regarding Brooklands Park, especially the condition of the lake and wildlife.
Photo: Young coot on the lake at Brooklands Park
Earlier in the year councillors agreed to fund a six-figure refurbishment of the park with the aim of preserving it for future generations.
I'm glad to say there's been great interest from the public who are keen to have their say in this much-loved community asset. Through this interest we invited members of the public to a meeting at the town hall on Tuesday evening to gauge the appetite for a 'Friends of Brooklands' group to be formed.
It was great to see a good turnout and after brief introductions and explanations on how and why a group could be formed I'm glad to say everyone seemed to be quite keen on the idea.
The next stage is to work with three or four of these people who generously offered their time to roughly work out the main aims and expectations of the group and to draw up a constitution that will show this.
This will all be presented at a public meeting on the 8th August 2017 from 6:30 to 8:00pm in the Richmond Rooms (adjacent to the Worthing Assembly Hall, Stoke Abbott Road, Worthing) and hopefully the group will be formalised after this.
This will be a great opportunity for anyone to come along and offer their ideas or ask any questions and I will keep you posted on the progress of this in later blogs.
Photo: Lake at Brooklands Park
Hello and welcome to my regular blog informing you of our work. I hope you find it informative and interesting.
Thankfully I don't ride a white horse named Silver and my only companion is not a wandering native American because unlike 'The Lone Ranger' I work as part of a team of Community Park Rangers and our job is to maintain and improve the green spaces across Adur and Worthing.
One of the best ways to do this is by working with community groups and this week we have been working with, amongst others, The Oak Community Project (OCP) at the plantation in Goring.
Their primary focus is to develop social and practical skills through active participation for adults with learning difficulties and our tasks were to clear plant growth around some of the new trees, fell a couple of sycamores and cut these into usable logs and stack some of the fallen dead wood into habitat piles.
This group usually consists of four lads Mark, Dan ,Paul and Shizad who all have their own preferred jobs when on site.
Dan and Paul love to saw the logs up, Mark really enjoys felling the trees and Shizad clears plant growth and stacks habitat piles all under the supervision of myself and my colleagues Keith and Duncan.
We have been working with the OCP for about eight months now and the work we do wouldn't be possible without linking up with two other groups, The Ilex Conservation Volunteers and Friends of Whitebeam Woods who with their woodland management plans have suggested various tasks for the OCP to do.
This cooperation between community groups is great to be a part of so If you happen to see me out and about working on a green space come and have a chat and you never know you might be able to make a difference to your community.
Join me again next Monday and I'll update you on the activities of definitely not a lone ranger!
Photo: summer wildflower colour in our parks and open spaces
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