Monday, 15 February 2016

Bags of Help

We haven't updated the blog for a while, as have mainly been putting updates on Twitter @HenllysLNR. We have just found out that we have been shortlisted for a project which Tesco have funded through their single use carrier bag fund: #BagsofHelp.

Here's some information below.

Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help initiative in hundreds of
regions across England and Wales. The scheme will see three community groups and projects
in each of these regions awarded grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the
5p bag charge.

Bags of Help offers community groups and projects in each of Tesco’s 390 regions across the
UK a share of revenue generated from the five pence charge levied on single-use carrier bags.
The public will now vote in store from 27 February until 6 March on who should receive the
£12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 awards.

Our Projects

The minimum amount of work which we will be getting done will be to totally rebuild a collapsed and eroding bank which is making access to one of the parts of the LNR quite dangerous. We'll be rebuilding the erosion using gabion baskets filled with an appropriate stone. These will be built up and backfilled to make the area safe t walk by, especially when we host schoolchildren when they are monitoring the streams for bugs and invasive alien species. The second part of this work involves getting a whole load of people in to eradicate Himalayan balsam. We've done an amazing job tackling this highly invasive non-native plant since 2008 and we've had great help from the scouts, cubs, school and members of the public, but each year there is more an more. The bulk of our volunteer time over the summer is spent tackling this plant which is best pulled up by hand and we rarely get to do other activities which could also benefit the reserve and local people.By autumn we have virtually given up all volunteer activities and suffer from Post Balsam Seasonal Affective Disorder until we do a bit of coppicing after Christmas. Getting people in to help tackle the balsam will be brilliant for us and will allow us to do much more engagement work this year.

If we get voted into 2nd place, we aim to tackle some of the more boggy areas of the Reserve to improve access. As a result of the improvements we have made to the LNR, as well as dog walking restrictions on playing fields and school grounds and of course all this rain, parts of the reserve are turning into quagmires. We have addressed this in a number of places already, but we will be able to join up difficult parts of the reserves to make it easier for more people to get around safely, especially those with mobility issues.

If we get voted into first position we would buy scything sets and manage parts of the meadow areas more sustainably. We'd be able to do more work without noisy machinery and with a lower risk of back injuries. We plan to cut around the orchard meadow to make hay and receive training on how to do this. We fully intend to buy scythes suitable for children and let them have a go too. Finally we would plant up a 40 metre hedgerow which will help to soak up more water and do a bit to mitigate for climate change.

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