24 Jun 2009

Happy 21st Birthday Stroud Valleys Project

On Monday after work I was delighted to join Stroud Valley Project's 21st Birthday party at Slimbridge - it was for all the volunteers that are involved in their projects - some 70 joined the festivities that started with either a canoe paddle down some backwaters or a guided bird watch. A great afternoon which ended with food and birthday cake.

Photos from birthday celebrations incl Mayor Andy Reed taking the photo of us volunteers

SVP's "mission is to inspire the people of Stroud District to cherish, care for and repair their local environment for everyone’s benefit."

It is a community development charity which operates throughout the whole of the Stroud District - there is much they are involved in - see their website for details - most recently I joined them on their newt watch - some will have seen them on telly doing Springwatch at The Lawns - much has improved there - see here - indeed that was one of my first introductions to SVP when through the Ruscombe Brook Action Group we called all the relevant groups together to work on the improvements some four years ago - sadly we didn't get all we wanted but that was not due to SVP! It was British Waterways who weren't listening...but that is another story...

Indeed the support and expertise from Stroud Valleys Project to improve the biodiversity at both the Hamwell Leaze site and The Lake at the Lawns site (both of which are part of the Ruscombe brook) has been invaluable. These two sites have seen very significant improvements in wildlife and use by the community in the recent years and I am hoping that if recent grant applications are successful then their work will continue to improve those sites.

As I have noted before Cainscross ward is the highest concentration of housing in Stroud District and has the least amount of green spaces. Both The Lawns and Hamwell Leaze have been under-used by the public due to access and awareness of the sites. It is great that the work of SVP is engaging with individuals and community groups (like the brook group) to increase awareness and use of the sites.

It is also worth mentioning that on their public workdays and on visits to other sites their staff like Ivi Szaboova Baxendale and Nadine Smykatz-Kloss have all been excellent - their enthusiasm, knowledge and abilities to engage with a wide range of members of the public is first rate - indeed it would be hard to better.

Anyhow since those early days I have also been delighted to support several of their grant applications - it is tragic that organisations doing important work with many different people within our community, including many vulnerable folk, are facing funding cuts - they have been hit like arts funding locally - anyhow I must dash but should also mention this year they have also helped with planning the Eco-Renovation Open Homes project set for September - more of that another time - see here our website under construction for this year: http://www.stroudopenhomes.org.uk

1 comment:

wanda said...

This is so awesome! Thanks for sharing. It's great to hear that people are involved in such good causes.