Spring is here! The natural world is waking up and it’s a fantastic time to get out and about to learn more about your local environment. We are running some great events to celebrate the spring – so do come into the eco shop and pick up our new events programme.

MinchinhamptonCommonMarkingDay CopyrightDeborahRoberts 35.P1050143resize

We all love the beautiful open spaces of Rodborough and Minchinhampton Commons. This year we are delighted to be working with the National Trust, Natural England and Stroud District Council to help secure their future enjoyment by us all.  Increasing numbers of visitors can have a damaging impact on this delicate wildflower-rich limestone grassland, so together we are working to produce a leaflet explaining what we can all do to help take care of the Commons.  

Photo : © Deb Roberts

The sight of cows on the common is familiar to us all – but not everyone will realise that they play an essential role in grazing the Commons and maintaining the rich wildlife. ‘Marking Day’, the traditional day the cows go out to graze for the summer is on Saturday 13th May. This year, there will be activities for all the family and the opportunity to learn about the wildlife and history of the Commons, to celebrate Marking Day, including a talk by National Trust butterfly expert Matthew Oates. Come and join us around The Old Lodge on Minchinhampton Common between 11am and 3pm!  

Or join us for our annual great crested newt survey of Stonehouse newt pond. We will set newt traps the evening before from 7.30pm on the 28th April and conduct a torch survey. Next morning from 7.30am we will inspect the traps to see what we have in them.  After getting up so early, join us for a networking breakfast at Stonehouse Court Hotel where we will be interested to hear your views on the conservation and preservation of Great crested newts across the County. Cost for the survey Adults £5 Children £3, for the breakfast Adults £15 Children £5.

 

Daffodill

At last it’s starting to feel like spring; it’s warmer and the daffodils are always cheering when they appear everywhere. Customers in our eco shop are all buying seeds which has become a sure sign of spring for us! We had a busy seed swap last month and now we are preparing raised beds and planting at our allotment for our Plant Sale on 3 June. If you are sowing seeds and growing seedlings please plant a few extra for our Plant Sale which helps to raise funds for our charity.

We have started our new project working on Rodborough Common in partnership with National Trust, Stroud District Council, Natural England and the graziers on the commons. We are organising a joint event for Marking Day when the cows are released on the commons on Saturday 13th May and we are looking for volunteers to work with us on organising and running this event.

Wild daffodils are flowering at Queen

Elizabeth Playing Fields and Capel’s Mill

It’s your last chance to book a place on Water Butts our Drain Pipes workshop on Saturday 25 March 2017 from 10am to 12. Come and learn how to install a water butt on a shed and fix some drain pipes, too. Cost is £15. Please call us to book a place.  

We are concerned about the future of the Sub Rooms. Now is the time to get involved and show your support for this lovely venue in the centre of Stroud. Please get involved with the Subscription Rooms consultation. Deadline for expressions of interest is 12th April.

Finally, do join us to herald the spring and hear the birds in the Chalford Valley Walk on Wednesday 26th April at 10am-12.30, finishing at the Lavender tea rooms in Chalford.

 

Get out and about with Stroud Valleys Project’s New Walk Leaflets

Stroud Valleys Project is launching its new walk leaflets to encourage people to come outside and enjoy the beautiful countryside around Stroud. All six are now available from the Stroud Valleys Project eco shop on Threadneedle Street and Tourist Information in the Sub Rooms. 

Each walk has a theme: Family Walk, Town Centre Walk, SVP FamilyWalk CopyrightDeborahRobertsP1190517 4by3 HiResPushchair/Wheelchair Walk, Archaeology Walk, Wildlife Walk and Landscape Walk. And all take a different angle on a usual walk. The Landscape and Wildlife walks are circular, but involve a bus ride out to the Nailsworth Valley and a return walk back to Stroud via the commons, while the family walk starts at one playground and takes the scenic route to another, with lots of activities for children to do along the way. The town centre walk is ideal for anyone in town with a little spare time on their hands and is perfect for anyone on their lunch break.

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Fulfil your new year’s resolution and get out and about with Stroud Valleys Project’s New Walk Leaflets

Stroud Valleys Project is launching its new walk leaflets to encourage people to come outside and enjoy the beautiful countryside around Stroud. All six are now available from the Stroud Valleys Project eco shop on Threadneedle Street and Tourist Information in the Sub Rooms.

Map TBEach walk has a theme: Family Walk, Town Centre Walk, Pushchair/Wheelchair Walk, Archaeology Walk, Wildlife Walk, and Landscape Walk. And all take a different angle on a usual walk.

The Landscape and Wildlife walks are circular, involving a bus ride out to the Nailsworth Valley and a return walk back to Stroud via the commons, while the family walk starts at one playground and takes the scenic route to another, with lots of activities for children to do along the way. The town centre walk is ideal for anyone in town with a little spare time on their hands and is perfect for anyone on their lunch break.

Our new project Wild Classrooms starts this month. We will be working with schools and other children’s groups to encourage and support outdoor learning and To develop resources to support teachers to link the school curriculum to outdoor work in green spaces close to schools.

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Help us save our parks and green spaces

QEII volunteersSadly budget cuts are affecting our parks. Park use is rising, with 57% of adults now visiting their park once a month or more, while 90% of families with children under five head to their local green space at least monthly, the State of UK Public Parks 2016 study reveals.

Dave Morris, chair of the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces, said: “The only way to halt the ever deepening funding crisis affecting all parks across the UK is to make it a statutory service.”

He added: “Parks take a long time to fall apart. It’s not immediately noticeable, like a library closing, but all the pillars of effective park management and maintenance are crumbling. If not reversed, parks will be plunged into the disaster crisis of the 1980s and 1990s when they became no go areas full of syringes and no park rangers.”

Tightening budgets are expected to lead to declines in quality of green spaces. Three-quarters of local authorities have cut staff, with the loss of skills such as horticulture, landscape design and wildlife management.

The Communities and Local Government Committeehas launched a “public parks inquiry” - looking at how parks should be supported now and in the future. The Committee will be asking what the future is for our open spaces and we want to explore the ways in which parks can be supported and secured for generations to come.

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Start your new year’s resolution early and get out and about with Stroud Valleys Project’s new walk leaflets

Stroud Valleys Project is launching its new walk leaflets to encourage people to come outside and enjoy the beautiful countryside around Stroud. All six are now available from the Stroud Valleys Project Eco shop on Threadneedle Street and Tourist Information in the Sub Rooms.

Map TBFor the past 18 months Stroud Valleys Project has been running ‘Wild about Stroud’, funded through Gloucestershire County Councils Active Together scheme. Throughout this period they have been out and about around Stroud with their volunteers in all weathers walking, gardening and taking care of green spaces such as Capel’s Mill (down by the canal, off Dr Newton’s way).

Each walk has a theme: Family Walk, Town Centre Walk, Pushchair/Wheelchair Walk, Archaeology Walk, Wildlife Walk and Landscape Walk. All of the walks take a different angle on a usual walk. The Landscape and Wildlife walks are circular, but involve a bus ride out to the Nailsworth Valley and a return walk back to Stroud via the commons, while the family walk starts at one playground and takes the scenic route to another, with lots of activities for children to do along the way. The town centre walk is ideal for anyone in town with a little spare time on their hands and is perfect for anyone on their lunch break.

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Stroud Valleys Project calls out for votes to bag a share of a £12.5million carrier bag charge fund

Stroud Valleys Project is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

The supermarket has teamed up with Groundwork on its Bags of Help initiative, which see grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to environmental and greenspace projects.

Three groups in each of Tesco’s 416 regions have been shortlisted to receive the cash award. Stroud Valleys Project is one of the three groups on the Stroud based shortlist.

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Can you volunteer with us?

We have been enjoying the long summer - a busy time for us with many events and activities. The main focus of our work is on environmental projects, so for example at this time of year we are doing lots of scything and autumn clearance work all over the Stroud area. The picture shows us raking at Bisley Road Cemetery. It is important to be aware of the wildlife that can be disturbed by this type of work. This year we have found large numbers of slow worms; the juveniles are particularly vulnerable as they are so small. When found we move them to undergrowth out of harm’s way.

We are always looking for new volunteers to help us.   In September we started a new joint project with Cainscross Parish Council at Queen Elizabeth II Playing Field in Dudbridge, funded by the Postcode Local Trust. Stroud Valleys Project is co-ordinating the work, which will mainly be carried out by local people and our volunteers. We are starting by creating a wildflower bank and improving the pond area. Jobs for the future will include installing seating, carrying out woodland improvement, making bird & bat boxes and putting in some interpretation boards.

“Wild About Kingswood” also started this year. Based just outside Wotton-Under-Edge, we are working in partnership with Kingswood Parish Council to create a new green space for wildlife and the local residents. We are creating and restoring ponds, orchard, woodland and grassland areas. This mosaic of habitats supports a population of great crested newts.

Each of our projects offers the opportunity for volunteers to meet new people, learn new skills, keep fit and active outdoors and it all helps to look after our local environment and green spaces. Do join us and help to make a difference to our local area!

Baby slow wormNews col pic Oct 16

 

 

 

Gloucestershire County Council and over 70 voluntary community social enterprise (VCSE), public and private sector partners from across the county have joined together and won £3.2million funding to help the county's most vulnerable adults into work, training or education; the project is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.

 

This exciting new project, known as The Gloucestershire GEM (Going the Extra Mile) Project, will engage with 1,100 people over three years commencing October 2016 and will focus on people who face challenges in getting into work, and support them to move closer towards education, training, volunteering or employment.

 

The GEM Project will be managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust (GGT) on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council. The project will be delivered by GEM Delivery Partners and, as one of those Partners, we now wish to recruit a Navigator Developer for the lifetime of this three year project.

Target GEM Project Participants are Women, Addictions, Over 50s, Rural, Disability, Learning Disability, Carers, Black and Minority Ethnic, Homeless, Mental Health, and Unemployed.

 

Navigator Developer (part time)

Location: Stroud Valleys Project, Stroud

Salary: £19,000 to £23,000 per annum (FTE) dependent upon experience

The successful candidate will provide intensive day to day 1:2:1 support to GEM Project participants to build their stability, confidence, motivation and readiness to learn, and ultimately move them closer towards education, training, volunteering or work, including self-employment.

Key Personal Attributes

  • Good communication skills;
  • Ability to think strategically;
  • Strong relationship management skills;
  • Empathy with GEM participants.

Relevant Experience and Qualifications

  • Lived experience as, or having worked with, vulnerable or disengaged people;
  • Literate and numerate;
  • Basic IT skills.

 

This role is for a 3 year Fixed Term Contract period until 30th September 2019 and may provide secondment opportunities for individuals.

 

Anyone wishing to submit a job application in an alternative format, as a form of reasonable adjustment, should in the first instance contact us.

 

To apply email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 01453 753358 for an Application Form and Job Specification and return to the same email address. CV’s will not be accepted unless accompanied by a fully completed Application Form.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Wednesday 19thOctober 2016.

 

 

Almost 100 runners and walkers enjoyed the Stroud Valleys Project and Cotswold Allrunners event on Sunday 18 September. It was a lovely sunny day. Walkers and runners alike tackled beautiful woodland, hilly terrain and fantastic nature in Cranham, Birdlip, Sheepscombe and Witcombe. Participants came from as far afield as Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

Volunteers for Stroud Valleys Project are usually far more used to working on the land and creating habitat for wildlife, but they all took a day off to enjoy the beautiful Cotswold countryside. One volunteer said – ‘I haven’t tackled a walk like this for 20 years. I have really enjoyed it’. Some of the volunteers raised sponsorship for the charity based on how many different species of bird, tree, flower, grass, insect they saw; on the 2.5 mile walk alone people saw over 70 different species. Everyone who took part received a lovely medal with the Cranham Beast on it.

Afterwards, volunteers and runners alike enjoyed a sausage in a bun and homemade cakes.The Beast Sept16

CEO Clare Mahdiyone said ‘Everyone really enjoyed the event. People want to get out into the Cotswold countryside but some people aren’t sure where to go, and how to get there. This event takes people by the hand and shows them the way.’

The charity would like to thank all the people who made the event possible. 

It is not too late to donate to the charity for this event. Just click onto the Virgin Money Giving button above or call into the Eco Shop in Threadneedle Street and sponsor David Richards, one of our volunteers.

Stroud Valleys Project is a limited company,
registered in England and Wales.    

Registered number: 2224016    

Registered charity number: 900107

Stroud Valleys Project,
8 Threadneedle Street,
Stroud,
Gloucestershire,
GL5 1AF

Tel: 01453 753358

Fax: 01453 755641

Email: info@stroudvalleysproject.org

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