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Community Info > Spelthorne Civic Pride Volunteers - News 2005

Spelthorne Civic Pride Volunteers
Newsletter Spring 2005

Looking back over our 15th Birthday year, there was a great deal to celebrate. We had more volunteers than ever before and we forged new partnerships with the business community.
In the autumn we received the Spelthorne Design Award for our work at the Millennium Wood and a grant from Surrey County Council.

Looking forward, 2005 is the Year of the Volunteer, and May’s theme is
Environmental Volunteering. Could this special month tempt you to join us at the Millennium Wood or Funky Footprints in May?
Community Project News
Swan Sanctuary
As you may have read in the local papers, the world famous Swan Sanctuary is moving to Spelthorne! In fact its new address will be Felix Lane, Shepperton and we are delighted to be asked to help prepare their new home.

The site has been left virtually undisturbed for many years. Thankfully all that needs clearing are Buddleia bushes and some brambles with the heavy work being done by machine. The site is large so there is scope here for both the swans and conservation.

Civic Pride has been able to add two work days to our programme, and there are other work days, which are organised by Peter Routley. This is a great opportunity for us to help and we urge you to join us.

Civic Pride work days
Sunday 27th Feb
Sunday 24th April.

Other work days – all Sundays
13th Feb, 20th Feb, 6th March, 13th March, 27th March.

Contact Peter Routley for further information on 01932 232344
All work starts at 10am & ends at about 1pm.

Laleham Pond
Our thanks again to Egham & Staines Conservation Volunteers (E&SCV). They have added extra handrails to the new dipping platform so it is ready for schools and youth groups to use. We would also like to sincerely thank Thames Water for the new fencing and gate along the Ashford Road boundary. During 2004 vandals damaged trees, dipping platform and bench and we were powerless to stop them getting in. Re-fencing the pond was the only answer but the cost was way beyond us. We are very grateful to Thames Water for their continued generous support for this project.

We would also like to thank one Laleham resident in particular. Peter Stephens has supplied tons of wood chips and logs over the years and has steadfastly refused to accept payment. These materials were used to make log pile habitats for insects and newts and the wood chips keep the weeds in check.

In 2005, we will renew the hide panels, plant more hedge trees and many other improvements for people and wildlife that still need your help.

Work days 
13th March – Hedge planting
5th June – New hide panels and weeding.
16th July SATURDAY – Open Day 12 – 4pm

Funky Footprints

E&SCV turned out in force in November and with the other volunteers removed masses of reeds from round the island. And they cut back the willows that were threatening to cover the island. The reeds we removed were put under the hedges to give shelter to insects and amphibians over the winter, and the willows were piled up on the island. The open water will help to keep predators from the island so the birds can nest safely.

Diversity is vital both for plants, trees and wildlife and we are very grateful to BAA Heathrow’s employees. They added 5 new species to the old Hawthorn hedge and planted 250 trees in total.

You may recall that the brick hide and the bench donated by Robin Sider were vandalised last year Two generous donations will help us to recover. Laurie Burrell persuaded Surrey County Council’s Spelthorne Local Committee to pay for a new bench, and Lynn Lewis of Nauticalia’s donation will be used for a new willow hurdle hide.

Surrey Wildlife Trust built a new dipping platform, which will enhance the teaching facilities. It is suitable for wheel chair users so we hope even more children will learn about wildlife here. We would also like to thank SWLT for cleaning the graffiti off the teaching boards.

Mammal and fungus surveys were completed in the autumn. Email copies are available.
The year ended with national publicity as Tarmac included a photograph of the lake in their corporate calendar.
We have lots of work planned for the new season – planting Flag Irises, transplanting Fragmities reeds, tree care and more reed removal so we need YOUR help as ever.

Work days
22nd May – Planting wild flowers.
19th June – Weeding, and tidy up ready for the Open Day.
2nd July SATURDAY – Wildlife Open Day 10 to 4pm – By popular demand we are extending the opening time. Drop in and talk to one of the experts we will have on hand or just have a walk round and enjoy the view.

Invasive plants
It is vital that you do not introduce any plants, spawn or fish to the reserve or any other site. If you take frog or toad spawn from your pond you may inadvertently bring invasive plants or a frog disease with it. The same applies to plants or fish. Several nature reserves have been devastated by non-native species of plant or animal. We still have not managed to remove the terrapin that was put into the lake.

To end on a lighter note – minutes after we finished the reed pull in November, a swan drifted up to inspect the cleared area! It would seem that we had the swan’s seal of approval as it stayed for some time.

Millennium Wood receives recognition, again!
By Ray Thorn

At a ceremony on 21 October, Ann James, Secretary of Spelthorne Tree Wardens and Jill Stephens of Civic Pride, received a Design Award from our Mayor Cllr George Trussler. The ceremony was held during the full council meeting.

The Award, under the Environmental Improvements category, was given by the Spelthorne Design Award panel in recognition of the volunteers' efforts to establish a new wood in the borough. This is the second occasion that an award has been received by the Group as a High Commended Certificate was given in 2002. The Millennium Wood is a joint project between the Tree Wardens and Civic Pride. The work began in December 1999 when over 80 local residents, conservation volunteers, and local youth groups joined us to start the planting.

In the five years since creation almost 3,000 trees and shrubs have been planted together with many wild flowers and bulbs, with very few losses.

A special celebration was held in January to thank everyone involved in the project and to mark the completion of the planting.

But, the work must continue as we thin or prune some trees and plant wild flowers and bulbs. So there is still a role for you.

Work day

8th May – Wild flower planting.

Environmental Awards

It is with great pleasure that we announce our Environmental Award Winners for 2004. It is one of the delights of being associated with Civic Pride that we come into contact with so many caring residents.
We had a very difficult task in picking out just one winner for each award.

Senior Award
We are delighted to be able to recognise that hard work of Ron Sotheron who has worked tirelessly to improve his local school’s pond, grounds and flower beds.
Congratulations Ron!

Junior Award
Ashford Park Primary School has shown a commitment to the environment that stands out head and shoulders above the rest. It was agreed by everyone that their efforts should be recognised now.
Well done everyone at Ashford Park.

Life Time Award
When Civic Pride began back in 1989 a couple living in Shepperton had already been litter picking for many years. Marjorie and Bevil Dawson, are an example that should inspire us all and we are very grateful for this opportunity to offer them our public thanks. The Group all agreed that Marjorie and Bevil should be given a special Life Time Award for services to Shepperton.

Litter Free Schools
You may have noticed that we are no longer running our Tidy Schools Competition. The number of schools taking part had fallen over recent years, and when Mc Donald’s launched their Litter Free Schools Awards we were delighted to be a part of this new and exciting initiative. The first year was successfully completed in 2004 with 12 primary schools in Spelthorne taking part. We hope that ALL the primary schools will join in the 2005 competition and help to make Spelthorne a Litter Free Borough!

Make a Difference Day
Yet again many Spelthorne residents cleared litter dropped by the thoughtless last October.
We would like to thank each and everyone who helped. Over 200 bags were collected which earnt these groups £400. If you couldn’t get involved in October, there is another chance in March and April. Please see enclosed Community Litter Pick leaflet.

4th Ashford Guides
Ashurst Drive Improvement Society
Assoc for Preservation of Staines Moor
Charlton Village Res Assoc
Clarendon Primary School
Friends of Sunbury Park
Staines Rotaract
Staines Tree Warden
Stanwell Tree Wardens
Stanwell W.I.
Shepperton Tree Wardens
Shepperton Res Assoc
Sunbury Tree Wardens

Liveability Fund
By Cathy Munro

In March 2004 Spelthorne Borough Council was successful in gaining a grant of £2.135 million from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s Liveability Fund for the Park Life Project. It was agreed that the money would be spent on 6 parks within the borough. These are Lammas Park, Ashford Recreation Ground, Kenyngton Park, Littleton Recreation Ground, Fordbridge Park and Hengrove Recreation Ground. This is part of the Park Life scheme run by the Council.

So far, Spelthorne Borough Council has installed a skate park and playground at the Lammas and will be putting a science themed playground at Clockhouse Lane and adventure play area at Kenyngton.

Local residents and park users have been consulted since the summer and consultation for Littleton and Fordbridge will commence later this year. The consultation for Hengrove is already complete and works in the park will commence in the summer.

If you would like to get involved in these projects please contact Cathy Munro on 01784 444235.

Yet more bulbs for us!
As you can see from the very long list below, hundreds of caring volunteers helped to plant 27,000 bulbs to add colour to our parks and streets. Our sincere thanks to you all, and to BAA Heathrow for giving us nearly a quarter of a million bulbs since 1994.

1st Ashford Guides, 3rd Ashford Guides
APEX Housing Church Villa, Elizabeth Court
Grove Barns, Kennedy Court, St Martin's Court, St Mary's Crescent
Ashford Hospital Voluntary Service Dept
Ashford Park School, Ashford Sports Club
Ashurst Drive Improvement Assoc
Bishop Wand School, B P Sunbury
Buckland School
Charlton Village Residents Assoc
Chennestone School
Christ Church Parochial Church Council
Civic Service Yacht Club
Clarendon School, Echelford School
Fairways Day Centre, Greeno Centre
Halliford WI, Hawkdale School,
Laleham Residents Assoc
Littleton School, Matthew Arnold School
Owl House, Salvation Army
Saxon School, Shepperton Allotment Assoc
Shepperton Play School,
Shepperton Village WI
Spelthorne Junior School
Spelthorne Tree Wardens
Springfield School,
Springtime Nursery School
St Mary's Church Fellowship
St Matthews Church
St Peter's Church Sunday School
Staines Preparatory School
Stanwell Village Hall,
Stanwell WI
Sunbury WI
Thames Meadow
Residents Assoc
Upper Halliford

Garden Waste collection scheme.
By Wendy Witt

This exciting new scheme will be launched on 28 February 2005 Garden waste will be collected weekly on the same day as the rubbish. Residents who wish to use the scheme will have to purchase a special biodegradable sack from libraries, day centres or the council offices or they can pay on line via the website or over the telephone. We will be charging for the sacks at an initial rate of £4 for 10 which will cover the cost of the collection service.

The waste will be taken to West London Composting in Harefield where it will be turned into compost and soil improver, which will be available for sale back to residents

Wildlife records
We are searching for old wildlife records from the Shepperton area to compare numbers and varieties of species then and now. In particular we are looking for early records of the Sheep Walk Lakes. Do you know of any surveys of these areas that we could borrow or copy?

For more information
Please contact
Jill Stephens, 87 Briar Road, Shepperton, TW17 0JB
Tel: 01932 829460 Mon-Thurs 9-4 or use email button below

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