Grant helps environment centre get close to nature

Volunteers have been hard at work since July 2021 to make several improvements for both visitors and biodiversity across the Skelton Grange Environment Centre in Stourton and there are still chances for volunteers to get involved.

The project, which is being funded by a significant grant of £29,652 from FCC Communities Foundation, will improve wildlife habitats and visitor opportunities on the popular environment centre site. Staff and volunteers from The Conservation Volunteers have been busy renovating pond areas to enhance aquatic habitats and improve accessibility for pond dipping. They have already seen the benefits of their work as water scorpions have been spotted for the first time ever.

Volunteers have also improved outdoor learning spaces, carried out important woodland and meadow improvements, and cleared invasive species, Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed, from the riverside areas of site, as well as other tasks.

TCV Skelton Grange Kickstarter Trainee, Eleanor Biggs, has been involved with the project and is already seeing the results.

“The Green Gym volunteers loved getting stuck in building habitat boxes and constructing a new bird viewing area. With a variety of feeding platforms, it has encouraged a diverse bird population. Thanks to funding from FCC Communities Foundation, we now have the perfect place for bird watching. We spotted blue tits, great tits, long-tailed tits, robins, blackbirds and a great spotted woodpecker.”

Hannah Carmyllie, TCV Project Officer and leader on the project said:

“Without this generous funding from the FCC Communities Foundation, we wouldn’t have been able to engage the local community in building habitat features for the wildlife we have on site. Undertaking this work, our volunteers have learnt new skills and created lasting connections between themselves and nature.”

FCC Communities Foundation is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community projects through the Landfill Communities Fund. Cheryl Raynor, FCC Communities Foundation Local Grant Manager said:

“It is great to see a project we have funded nearing completion and the hard work paying off, well done to everyone involved.”

Work on the project is ongoing through late February and early March and there still a chance for volunteers to get involved in building a new pond and improving outdoor learning spaces by coming to the Friday volunteering sessions at Skelton Grange Environment Centre. If you are interested, please email, or call (0113) 243 0185.


This post is based on a press release issued by Skelton Grange Environment Centre

Photo: Green Team Volunteer, Don, draining the deep pond to replace the liner.


One Reply to “Grant helps environment centre get close to nature”

  1. The Hannah Carmyllie quoted is my wonderful Goddaughter! She’s doing amazing work at Skelton and we’re so proud of her. As part of her MA she did research on how green spaces help people’s mental health, and several people in Beeston took part, sharing their experiences of walking in Cross Flatts Park and elsewhere during the pandemic (and she got a first!!).

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