We’re always busy on the Growing Up Green program and recent weeks have been no different.
The EBP Mission Mentor scheme has given us the chance to work very closely with a school outside our normal geographical area. Each month Steve has been bringing over ‘looked after children’ from Giles Academy near Boston. From our first tentative meeting in the school we have come a long way. We’ve used ELLI profiling to look at the psychological profiles of the young people and conducted around 60 hours of conservation and Junior Ranger work at Hill Holt Wood and our other sites.
Magnus Junior Rangers
During three separate weeks we hosted groups of young people from Magnus CofE in Newark. This heralds our early forays into Nottinghamshire territory. The groups were shown our different sites, partook in conservation activities, helped us set up for the NKDC Walking Festival and enjoyed engaging with nature.
Last week saw local girl Emily join us for a week’s work experience. Emily is looking to get into conservation when she goes to university so a varied week with us was right up her street; setting up and helping to deliver a woodland based team building day with Lincoln University, maintaining South Witham Marsh and Millennium Green (where we are still looking for volunteers), pond surveying and visiting our other sites.
Hill Holt Wood were recently awarded the Countryside NK contract by North Kesteven District Council. As part of this contract we have organised (and are actually leading right this moment) the annual North Kesteven District Council Walking Festival. In preparation for the event we needed to ensure the walks were in tip-top condition and, with help from our Junior Rangers, we have scouted the more worrisome walks.
South Witham Marsh:
The site was gifted to Hill Holt Wood around two years ago and we’ve been working with Growing Up Green volunteers to develop and maintain this valuable green space. Lindum Group built homes next to the site and planted an insatiable hedge of blackthorn, dog rose, holly and hawthorn. This imposing organic wall takes quite some work to keep it from obscuring the view of local residents, especially in nesting season (March to the end of August) when the hedge grows the quickest and we have to ensure we don’t disturb any nesting birds (all birds and their nests are protected by law). In addition to maintenance of the hedge we have cut the grass and trimmed a second hedge to improve access around the site. Our hard working team have laid a path into the main site and have around 14metres left to install. Plans are afoot for two bridges to be installed to provide year-round access to the woodland. Inside the woodland we have opened up two circular paths (which were historically there once upon a time) with a little consultation from the locals.