On Thursday 29th September, there was a large scale ‘volunteering day’ at the new skate park. More than 60 volunteers participated, including 45 local volunteers, several people from the Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group and Green Gym, local young people (who also demonstrated some BMX skills during the lunch break) and Bradley Stoke Town Council (BSTC) staff. In addition, the leisure centre contractors were “amazingly helpful”, providing some tools, advice and storage.
The volunteering day originated from BSTC (who built and run the skate park) expressing an interest in an ‘offer’ publicised through the local volunteering centre. The proposal by BSTC was to improve the landscaping of the new skate park, along with some of the adjoining nature reserve and leisure centre grounds. Many months of coordination, organisation and preparation followed with the town council’s youth development & participation worker Graham Baker liaising closely with a core group of local volunteers.
In addition to all the people involved, 2.5 tonnes of timber was delivered and many bulbs for planting acquired. It was also necessary to source a significant number of tools to help with all the tasks, these being mainly provided by Green Gym and the town council.
Two days of work were also put in ahead of the main event to prepare and cut the timber ready for Ikea-style assembly.
Achievements on the main volunteering day significantly advanced the landscaping of the new park at minimal cost. By the end of the day, five long chunky picnic benches were constructed, along with five 1m-cubed planters, made out of railway sleepers, with benches in between.
In addition, cutting back of brambles and clearance of ditches surrounding the skate park and on the adjoining nature reserve was undertaken, with the welcome assistance of Green Gym. Lots of spring bulbs were planted and a number of previously prepared tree pits were weeded.
Finally, there was a general clear up, raking and some litter picking. Everything that had been planned was achieved and it was generally acknowledged as an impressive and rewarding effort by all involved.
The next stage will be to plant 13 trees in late November (the optimum time for planting bare-rooted trees). These will be a mix of field maple, silver birch and hornbeam, which, along with enhancing the area, will eventually provide a partial windbreak and some visual screening.
A spokesperson for BSTC said:
“A huge thank you to all the volunteers for their fantastic efforts that have enabled a giant step forward in the landscaping of the skate park and the surrounding area.”
Photo: Just some of the skate park “furniture” installed by the volunteers.
This article originally appeared in the November 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on pages 14 & 15). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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