Wild About Trees 1Environmental charity Stroud Valleys Project is launching a new tree planting project this winter called ‘Wild About Trees’. The Stroud based charity wants to raise £10,000 from local people to plant 1,000 trees around the district.


Chief executive Clare Mahdiyone explained: “With climate change high on the agenda, people come to us wondering what they can practically do to contribute to the fight against carbon emissions. We have a track record for planting trees locally so we are launching an appeal so we could plant lots more.”


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This is a month-long campaign designed to encourage more people to try organic and aims to be a way to promote and educate people about organic food and farming practices.

Following a year of unprecedented environmental protest and ground-breaking research, there’s never been a better moment to shout about the role organic farming has to play in the climate change debate by benefiting nature, wildlife, our planet, our health and building healthy soils. If we buy more organic food to support organic farming this will mean that we can slow down climate change together.

Admittedly organic is usually more expensive and if that is a barrier the other option is to grow your own fruit and vegetables without using chemicals. At Stroud Valleys Project we have allotment space and various growing areas where we grow, cook and share the produce with our volunteers. At the moment we seem to have more cucumbers than we can eat! As a result we have been pickling them for the winter. If you would like to learn more about growing your own do get in touch and find out about joining one of our volunteer teams.

Bonds MillOur volunteers get a chance to get involved lots of different types of work and a current example is Waterscapes. This project aims to help the struggling salmon together with a wide range of other fish species by improving passage along the River Frome.  We have enabled the rewetting of an old channel (paleochannel) at Bond’s Mill in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire to achieve this end. Our volunteers joined in with the work on site last week to help create a gravel bed in the river.

This project, involving partners from across the Severn Vale including WWT, Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group South-West, Severn Rivers Trust and Stroud Valleys Project has been made possible by major funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. Over the next two years, work will be carried out at four key sites along the River Frome, as well as at WWT Slimbridge and Walmore Common SSSI.

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We love this poem. It sums up everything we want to achieve by having a green burial ground. Imagine a field that is bare now, full of trees, carefully planted and lovingly tended.

Printed here by kind permission of Pam Ayres.

Woodland Burial

Don’t lay me in some gloomy churchyard shaded by a wall
Where the dust of ancient bones has spread a dryness over all,
Lay me in some leafy loam where, sheltered from the cold
Little seeds investigate and tender leaves unfold.
There kindly and affectionately, plant a native tree
To grow resplendent before God and hold some part of me.
The roots will not disturb me as they wend their peaceful way
To build the fine and bountiful, from closure and decay.
To seek their small requirements so that when their work is done
I’ll be tall and standing strongly in the beauty of the sun.

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This is an extract from the August 2019 Stratford Park Newsletter

This month Stroud Valleys Project volunteers have been transplanting aquatic plants in the lake. It was exactly this time last year that we started restoration works to the lake and graded the banks. Last autumn one elevation of the banks was sown with a ‘pond side mix’ containing marginal plants, but this was not successful.Tamsin planting aquatics in the lake -Photo Mike McCrea

Next month Tamsin and her group will be re-sowing a more robust seed mixture to the banks. Richard Spyvee (Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Living Landscapes Manager) has been supplying the plants from a local source; these include several species of reeds, rushes and native oxygenating plants.


SVP team leader Tamsin planting aquatics in the lake.

Photo: Mike McCrea

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Environmental charity Stroud Valleys Project has won a Gold Award from Green Impact. Green Impact is an international environmental behaviour change programme that works with hundreds of organisations throughout the world and helps them to become more environmentally sustainable.

It has been working with organisations taking part in the GEM Project (Going the Extra Mile, a Gloucestershire-based project funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund that aims to engage with and support individuals to move closer towards education, training, volunteering or work) which includes Stroud Valleys Project. Green Impact provides a yearlong support programme for organisations to improve their sustainability, and at the end of the year it awards either a gold, silver or bronze award to the organisation for their endeavours. All the GEM organisations increased their environmentally friendliness, but Stroud Valleys Project was one of only two organisations to achieve gold.

Clare Mahdiyone, CEO of Stroud Valleys Project said, ‘we are absolutely thrilled to receive this nationally accredited Gold award. As an environmental charity, we would hope to do well, but it was a rigorous programme and it required us to improve. It was great to take part. It acknowledges the work our team do, day in and day out, to be more sustainable, and to cut carbon in the workplace’.

Green Impact Award 2Green Impact Certificate 2

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Workshop Exp 2019

We have worked with the stroud valleys project for work experience from Monday to Friday, over the course of the week we have worked with a big variety of different people and it has been really fun and interesting getting to know everyone individually. We have been working outdoors in big green spaces helping the environment and the wildlife. We have been gardening, planting vegetables, raking out big rocks, and helping save the great crested newts. It has been an amazing experience for the both of us, and everyone has been super friendly. It has felt rewarding and it has been nice to see so many people helping out the community. Coming here has definitely made my work experience worth while.

Many thanks for welcoming us into your project!

From Ellie and Enya 

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It is so good to see how important our environment and nature is to people in our community. Awareness has been raised by the children striking from school, protests by Extinction Rebellion, several television programmes (particularly David Attenborough) and the increase in news reporting of environmental and climate issues. We see lots of people taking part in our projects or events or buying eco products or recycling packaging in our shop and are aware that many people are ‘doing their bit ‘ for the environment. Hopefully this will all encourage our government to act now before it’s too late.

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Moth1Come and share Bob Smith’s joy and wonder in the natural world of moths at the Stroud Congregational Church Hall http://www.stroudcongchurch.org.uk/ in Bedford Street on Friday at 7.30. Bob Smith is from the local branch of Butterfly Conservation. This talk is about some of the moths that he has recorded in his garden at Chalford Hill and includes stories of their strange lives, very strange caterpillars and how they got some of their odd names.

But there is a serious point to the talk.

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Nell Gifford and Clare plant tree A4A 30th Anniv March 2019As part of Stroud Valleys Project’s 30th Anniversary celebrations, the local charity has been awarded funds from Awards for All to plant a variety of trees in the local area. The charity’s CEO planted the first of the trees at the Giffords Circus headquarters in Lypiatt near Stroud with Nell Gifford, the owner/producer of Giffords Circus.

The trees came from Day’s Cottage which specialises in old and unusual varieties of Gloucestershire apple and pear trees. Nell and the team at Giffords chose the Jenny Lind variety of apple tree. This variety of dessert apple is a Gloucestershire listed species, named by Gloucestershire Orchard Trust as a critical species, found in fewer than 10 Orchards across Gloucestershire.

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BluetitforSNJjan2019copyrightPaulGreenIt’s a New Year and time for our annual Diary and Calendar Swap. If you have any unwanted 2019 diaries or calendars you can drop them off at our eco shop and if you need one you can collect one (and make a donation to our charity if you can).

If you’re looking for something new to start the New Year, we are actively seeking new outdoor volunteers for several new projects over the next two months. Some of our projects are about wildlife and conservation and others are about gardening and food growing. Our volunteers come from all walks of life with different interests, skills and abilities, if you are interested in joining one of our groups, please contact me to discuss your interests.

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Stroud Valleys Project is a limited company,
registered in England and Wales

Registered number: 2224016    

Registered charity number: 900107

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Stroud Valleys Project

8 Threadneedle Street




Tel: 01453 753358

Email: info@stroudvalleysproject.org

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