A new Conservation Volunteer group for Costessey.
Costessey is uniquely fortunate to have such beautiful green spaces within its town boundaries, some dating back to Domesday times, and all accessible to the community.
These include magnificent mixed woodland, including East Hills, Green Hills and Snakes Hills Woods, and other areas bordering the River Tud which flows through Costessey, linking the communities of New, Old and West Costessey. Such green spaces offer ample opportunities for recreational use for residents of all ages, from family picnics through to rambling and dog-walking, as well offering plentiful habitats for environmental study such as bird-watching.
As voluntary Tree Warden for Costessey, I am attempting to develop yet another beneficial aspect of our open space – one that addresses not only the improvement of mental and physical health but will also help to reduce the social problem of loneliness amongst our community, particularly amongst our older residents. This is through the formation of a local volunteer workforce, the Friends of the Tud Valley (FOTV) Conservation Volunteers.
Why do we need such a group? Although our green spaces are owned by different landowners, such as South Norfolk District Council and Costessey Town Council, who are responsible for the safety of members of the public accessing those areas, financial cutbacks are resulting in a reduction of the time spent on land management, with resultant adverse effects such as bramble and scrub overgrowth. If we truly value these areas, I feel that, as a community, we should be prepared to actively assist with their conservation.
The FOTV Conservation Volunteers, although in their “infancy”, have already made a start, working with SNDC and Norwich Fringe Project in East Hills Wood, trying to re-expose the beautiful bluebell glades that are endangered by encroaching brambles. Although this work IS physical, it is an opportunity for social interaction and is a great stress-buster! In fact, it is a “Green Gym” with free membership, guaranteeing plenty of fresh air, fitness and fun, as well as an opportunity to “do your bit” for wildlife. No Lycra is necessary – just stout shoes and weatherproof clothing!
So if you would like to join us, please contact Pauline Williamson on 01603 742491, or come along to the FOTV stand at the Costessey Fayre. Alternatively, come along to the first of a series of free events, organized by Norfolk Wildlife Trust at East Hills Wood on Saturday 6th May (see below), to meet us and discover this wonderful woodland, right on your doorstep!