A charity has launched outdoor volunteering sessions in Haringey to keep a park clean and well maintained while creating a sense of community.
The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), a charity that brings people together to preserve green spaces and parks across the UK, runs monthly practical nature conservation volunteer sessions at Springfield Community Park.
Every second Saturday of the month, people of all levels and abilities, with or without experience, are welcomed and invited to join the charity, meet other people and contribute to improving the park.
Clare Street, Project Officer at The Conservation Volunteers, said: “All you need to do is bring a snack, bottle of water, suitable clothing and a smile.”
Street explained that each session begins with TCV staff familiarising volunteers with the tools and how to use them safely, and then introducing them to activities such as litter picking, habitat creation, vegetation management and pond care.
The importance of caring for a park and how this can contribute to developing a sense of community was also highlighted.
Street said: “Parks are places where people can get outside to relax, meet and chat, exercise, have a picnic, walk their pets, connect to the natural work, watch wildlife and so much more. They bring people together.
“If our green spaces are unmaintained, this can attract antisocial behaviour and they become undesirable, unsafe places to be.
“They can be wildlife deserts if left merely as short mown grass without a variety of habitats like pond, hedges, meadows and wooded areas to provide food and shelter for birds, insects, amphibians and mammals.”
Street became a member of the TCV Haringey team in 2017, when offered a chance to become a part time Project Officer running volunteer sessions around the borough, but started volunteering with TCV in 2009, after moving to London.
She added: “Not having any connections or knowing anyone when moving here I joined TCV’s volunteering groups as a way of pursuing my love of being out in the natural world, desire to improve our green spaces for wildlife and need to meet likeminded people.
“After that I was hooked.
“Along the way I have learnt plenty of new skills and met many fascinating people from different walks of life.
“Parks are an important urban environment where wildlife and communities can thrive.
“By maintaining and improving parks with local volunteers we can benefit both people and wildlife positively.”
The Conservation Volunteers’ volunteering sessions at Springfield Community Park are on the second Saturday of every month in Haringey.