Volunteering at its Best !

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200A really great day and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves working with The Challenge/NCS youth volunteers.  Everyone worked so hard and enthusiastically to clear brambles, cut back shrubs encroaching on the pathways and then to deliver over 1,000 flyers to homes in the neighbourhood. All their hard work has given us a real boost.  Thank you!

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200We first met the 15 to 17 year old NCS volunteers on the 4th August for a tour of the park, explaining the aims of “The Friends”, the importance of the park to the local community and to discuss the nature of “their challenge”. The overgrown brambles, shrubs, holly, nettles and sycamore saplings were identified for pruning and a leaflet VLUU L200  / Samsung L200about the FOEP would be distributed within the local community.  Jonathan Bangs, The Parks Outreach Officer,  provided a briefing on Health & Safety issues.   FOEP would borrow equipment (secateurs, loppers, sturdy gloves and rakes) from the The Parks and Open Spaces of Royal Greenwich.   For information regarding the NCS and The Challenge, see previous posting “Meeting the Challenge”.

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200On Sunday 7th September 13 youth volunteers arrived and divided into 2 groups – a gardening team and a leaflet distribution team.  The groups would then swap over for the afternoon session.   I think some thought that delivering leaflets might be the easier task to start the day, but perhaps they were not aware of the long, steep and winding roads!

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200So armed with tools/gloves and leaflets and maps the two teams set off.   Shortly after they began, we were joined by another team of volunteers!   Unfortunately for that team their assignment had been cancelled at the last minute and we we asked if we would like extra pairs of hands!  It was marvellous for FOEP, but I hope not too disappointing for the second group!   The pathways were

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200becoming hazardous with low and overhanging branches of holly, hawthorn and acacia trees (with their spiky thorns or leaves!). The brambles and nettles were not very friendly either, but everyone entered into it with such energy and enthusiasm and a great deal of lively talking and laughter.

 

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What a Transformation!

                              ‘before’                           and                             ‘after’ 

Shrubs cut back to railingsHolly, acacia,sycamore saplings growing across pathpling

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                 A Very Successful and Enjoyable Day !

If you do visit  the pond area, we would be pleased to know what you think about the ‘new look’ and safer pathways.

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DON’T FORGET:   Sunday 28th September from 11 am to 1 pm we will be carrying out our monthly maintenance of the pond/surrounding meadow and POND DIPPING.   Everyone Very Welcome.

Posted in Eaglesfield Park, Environment, Events, Friends of Eaglesfield Park, Parks, Uncategorized, volunteering | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Meeting The Challenge

 thechallenge_ncs_lockup_sig“The Friends” would like to share some really great news. ……………..

 

FOEP are very pleased to let you know that on Sunday 7th September 2014 thirteen youth volunteers from NCS (National Citizen Service) will join us for the day!

NCS is a government funded initiative that supports community engagement and social integration among young people. The programme has grown year on year to some 60,000 NCS graduates across the UK at the end of 2013.

The NCS programme, and in particular the skills and experiences gained by NCS graduates, is now recognised positively by employers and educational institutions alike

The Challenge is a national charity that was founded in 2009. Their mission is to connect and inspire people to strengthen their communities.   The Challenge is the largest provider of NCS in England and will offer more than 18,500 young people the opportunity to graduate from the NCS programme this year.  The Challenge is the local NCS provider in London, Surrey, West Midlands and The North West and has been successfully delivering the programme since the initial pilot in 2009.  They bring together local people across all generations, ethnic groups and incomes to build a stronger society.

NCS believes that if young people are given the chance they can make a huge contribution to their communities.   To help make this happen NCS offers 15 to 17 year olds the opportunity to get together to try new things.  Then, with the support of a team, they build and deliver a project that makes a real difference to where they live.

NCS brings young people together from all different backgrounds in a common purpose and by offering new experiences, gives them the chance to learn new skills and meet new people. This helps young people discover their talents and realise their potential.

Through delivery of NCS, The Challenge brings together schools, community organisations, businesses and individuals to build a stronger and more cohesive society.

 Young people can find out more and sign up at: www.ncsthechallenge.org

 On Sunday 7th September 2014 a group of 13 young volunteers will be working on two projects:-

         shrub maintenance in the area surrounding the pond.VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

cutting back and  thinning out the brambles

reducing any shrub/ tree growth that is obstructing pathways and may be hazardous.

 

 

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    •     Distributing leaflets, hopefully to 1,400 homes. particularly to homes which may not be familiar with the amenities available at Eaglesfield Park and the opportunities for family activities, making new friends, pond dipping, enjoying wildlife and contributing to the future development of the park.

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NCS Leaflet reverse copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We would like to thank everyone for their enthusiastic help in planning and organising the day, including The Parks Outreach Officer (Parks & Open Spaces, Royal Borough of Greenwich), who have kindly let us borrow the appropriate gardening tools!     I am afraid we have not been able to organise the weather, but we remain optimistic !

Of course, the day’s activities would not be taking place without the support and commitment of the youth volunteers. They have already visited the park and hopefully will know just what they have let themselves in for !   We wish them an enjoyable and successful day and look forward to working with them.

Come and see us – the best time might be between 12.00 and 3.00 pm.

We will, of course, report back later.

 

 

 

Posted in Eaglesfield Park, Environment, Events, Friends of Eaglesfield Park, Parks, Uncategorized, volunteering | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s Official – Vital Habitat

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POND AND MEADOW PROVIDE VITAL HABITAT VALUE FOR PARK Yes, it’s official according to Alex Draper of FROGLIFE when he visited Eaglesfield Park on Saturday 21st June 2014. Froglife www.froglife.org had previously been part of the consortium that helped and advised the Friends of Eaglesfield … Continue reading

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POND DIPPING AT EPNWS COMMUNITY FETE

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  On Sunday 20th July we joined in the The Eaglesfield Park Neighbourhood Watch Scheme Community Fete.  It was a great day for all the family with plenty of support and activities from within the local community.   The two  police horses … Continue reading

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Pond Meadow Thriving

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On Sunday 25th May we were again tidying and weeding the pond meadow.  We were lucky with the weather and amazed how much the meadow had matured during the last couple of weeks.   It was absolutely TEEMING with blue … Continue reading

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Bring the Family !

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COME AND JOIN US at the Eaglesfield Park Pond and Meadow on the LAST SUNDAY OF THE MONTH between 11.00 am and 1.00 pm.   We will be gardening/tidying up, and POND DIPPING.

 

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POND DIPPING is great fun for all the family.  We have pond dipping equipment and will help you identify the pond creatures!

See you on the 25th May

 

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GARDENING IS NOT ALL WORK !

If you feel like helping with gardening, or tidying up, may we ask you to bring your own basic equipment (gloves, spade, hand trowel) and suggest wellies and old clothes!

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

 

Posted in Eaglesfield Park, Environment, Events, Friends of Eaglesfield Park, Parks, Pond Life, Royal Borough of Greenwich, Uncategorized, wildflowers | Leave a comment

Monthly Pond/Meadow Tidying Up and Pond Dipping

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200The Friends of Eaglesfield Park (FOEP) continue working to ensure the pond and meadow are an environmentally friendly haven for wildlife which will also provide a peaceful setting for contemplation and wildlife observation for the local community and visitors to the park.

In less than 2 years since the official Opening of the Pond it is amazing how important the pond and meadow have become to our local wildlife and how much pleasure it provides the “human” visitor.

This Spring we are seeing an increase in  pond creatures – frogs, newts, insects, butterflies and birds and the POND DIPPING PLATFORM enables access for studying the pond life.  We would like to see more children (and adults!) take advantage of the Pond Dipping facilities and are looking at ways in which this can be achieved.

In order for the pond and meadow to flourish we cannot leave it completely to Nature!  We do need to ensure the pond is regularly cleaned and its plants are thinned out and the meadow is properly maintained, including removal of  invasive weeds, sowing seeds and planting wildflowers.  And , of course, we shouldn’t forget the litter picking of assorted empty drink cans and bottles!

All this requires some kind of a regular maintenance programme. Last year the FOEP introduced a regular “Tidy Up/Pond Dipping Session” on the Last Sunday of the Month, 11 am – 1 pm and we would like to continue this, if possible.  Sadly this year on 30th March and 27th April there were few troops on the ground!  However the few of us accomplished quite a lot and made a difference.

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Yellow Rattle Plug Plants

We cleared various areas and planted Yellow Rattle plug plants.  These feed on grass roots and will hopefully reduce some of the grasses to enable more wild flower seeds to germinate.     It would be great though to see a few more gardeners, or litter pickers, or pond dippers!  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and hope more people will join us next time.

 

Here are dates for the rest of 2014** (11 am – 1. pm).

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  • 25th May
  • 29th June
  • 27th July
  • 31st August
  • 28th September
  • 26th October      

**  Please note these dates are subject to availability of FOEP committee volunteers.

 

Finally another video of the mallard ducks !

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Take Your Partners

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Mallard Ducks seek partner and desirable residence! I thought you might like to see this short video of the mallard ducks.  The two females and 2 males were obviously very undecided about choosing their partner!          

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Yellow Rattle Planting

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  Yellow Rattle          Less Grass – more wildflowers.     We want to encourage a variety of wild flowers but, as will have been noticed, we have an abundance of grasses.  We understand this is due to … Continue reading

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Pond and Meadow Attracting Birds

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The regular “last Sunday of the Month” pond and meadow maintenance began this year on Sunday 30th March.   The weather was glorious and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Sadly we only had three gardeners, but possibly this was because it was Mothering … Continue reading

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