The Conservation Volunteers at Skelton Grange Environment Centre are celebrating the news that they have seen over 200,000 walk through the doors of the much loved eco centre and wildlife haven in South Leeds.
“The Conservation Volunteers are the unsung heroes of the environment …no one will protect what they do not first care about” Sir David Attenborough: Vice-President, The Conservation Volunteers
200,000 people have accessed and enjoyed nature in a less advantaged area of the city, helping to improve their health and wellbeing. The Skelton Grange project is also designed to be sustainable and stretch far on into the future, encouraging wildlife and increasing species diversity for the benefit of everyone. The staff and volunteers at the centre plan to celebrate this amazing achievement at their Open Day on Saturday 3 October.
Ralph Walker, Administrator at Skelton Grange Environment Centre, said:
“We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing team of volunteers for all the hard work they have put into the project. We’d also like to invite many more people to come along on and get involved with The Conservation Volunteers. If you can’t make it on Saturday the 3 October for the Open Day, you can still help by attending a training course, joining in as a volunteer, booking a child onto one of our very popular school holiday events or making a donation. By doing any of these things you can help ensure that this wonderful centre and wildlife haven continues to thrive for the people of Leeds and Yorkshire”.
The Conservation Volunteers at Skelton Grange aim to create a more sustainable future in Leeds by creating healthier and happier communities – communities where TCV activities have a lasting impact on people’s health, prospects and outdoor places. Whether improving wellbeing, conserving a well-loved outdoor space or bringing people together to promote social cohesion, combat loneliness or enhance employment prospects, TCV works together with communities to deliver practical solutions to the real life challenges.
“Skelton Grange was wholly instrumental in my gaining employment through my volunteering time there. It’s so much more than just a place for teaching kids…I learned so much as an adult that helped me to achieve a successful career change in my mid 40’s. Now a countryside ranger, (my dream job!), I have no qualms in saying that I wouldn’t have gained the skills I needed and use daily in my position, without all the help and training I received at Skelton…I hope Skelton continues to run for many, many years to come.” Steve Clavering: Countryside Ranger for Leeds City Council.
The Access 2 Nature funding from the Big Lottery has helped volunteers at Skelton Grange to develop a once neglected site into a wildlife haven with a variety of habitats including woodlands, ponds, meadows, hedgerows and also a food growing area. This space is then available as a resource for schools and other community groups to come along and interact with and it is also a training space for volunteers looking to gain employment skills, regain their physical and mental health, be socially included or simply to make a positive contribution to their local community and environment.
There are still plenty of opportunities to get involved with at Skelton Grange over the summer including volunteering with the Green Team, taking part in a Wild Walk, attending the Open Day, booking a child onto the Into the Wilderness camping event, Bushcraft events or the Skelton Rangers Spy Academy.