Earlier in the year, I wrote about the opportunities available to volunteers within local green spaces in Gainsborough, and included a call to action for any community groups and organisations who wanted to come together and coordinate efforts to improve use of, and access to, green spaces in Gainsborough, writes Heater Arnatt.
The West Lindsey Green Spaces Forum has been meeting roughly every six weeks and offers an excellent opportunity for active local groups to get together, share ideas and skills, and generate an enthusiasm for Gainsborough’s green spaces.
Following an extremely successful ‘measure your park’ event in the summer, Ashcroft Road Park has seen significant developments including the installation of new paths and an increase in participation within the local community.
Activity from the conservation volunteers and the volunteer work parties at Mercer Wood has resulted in a busy summer in the woodland with plans in place for continued improvements over the next year.
Theaker Avenue Nature Reserve is now looking to develop a regular volunteer working party to increase usage of the area and begin to make positive improvements to the site.
The forum has also presented an excellent opportunity for these groups and others to begin to work towards new projects and activities.
And one such proposed project is an urban forest for Gainsborough.
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According to the Government, ‘trees in urban areas improve health and wellbeing, connect people with the outdoors, absorb noise, reduce flood risk, lower temperatures through shading, and create green spaces for communities to come together.’
Funding is currently available for the planting and care of 130,000 new trees across the UK from the Urban Tree Challenge Fund and members of the green spaces forum are keen to hear from members of the community who are interested in introducing more trees to the area.
Speaking about the fund, Sir Harry Studholme, chairman of the Forestry Commission, said: “It allows us to plant more trees much closer to where people live and work and where the many benefits of trees makes the most difference.”
If you live close to an underused green space, own a piece of land, have a passion for green projects, or are considering volunteering, please get in touch via Volunteer Centre West
Lindsey on 01427 613470 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heather Arnatt is area co-ordinator for Voluntary Centre Services West Lindsey.