A Discovery Day was held at the Rackleaze Nature Reserve in Cam to celebrate the conservation achievements by Stroud Valleys Project (SVP) and its band of volunteers who through Biffaward (Landfill Tax Levy) funding have increased opportunities for wildlife and biodiversity at the wetland site.

Cutting_the_Rackleaze_ribbonRichard Lewis, SVP’s project officer at the nature reserve said ‘The nature reserve is an oasis for wildlife and the day was a celebration of the work that has gone on at the site and hopefully the work that SVP will be able to continue to do in the future at the nature reserve’.

The day was officially opened by Mary Oram, a member of the Cam Wildlife Group, who along with other members of the group cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the new boardwalk that allows public access to the field pond on the nature reserve.

Display board showcased the different types of bird and insect species that have been found in or around the nature reserve, visitors to the event we’re able to get involved by catching insects, such as butterflies and bees, in nets. Adding to the survey records already collect by SVP’s own survey team, Denise Gibbons and Barbara Wood.

It is hoped that with the help of SVP, Cam Parish Council will formally start the process of designating the site as a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) for all the community to enjoy.

scytheSummer conjures up images of sun, sea, ice creams and picnics – but also the lovely smells of making hay, the old-fashioned way. If you have a scythe you don’t need, please donate it to Stroud Valleys Project so that volunteers can be trained in the art of hay-making. Using scythes is better for the environment and our carbon footprint, as well as more pleasant than noisy petrol strimmers.

SVP also collects second-hand garden  tools to sell in its SVP Ecoshop.

If you can help please contact SVP on 01453 753358.

SVP supporter Spencer Hawes using a scythe in his orchard.
A pioneering women-only volunteering group is set up by Stroud Valleys Project to help local women improve their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. The WOW! Women Outside Working weekly sessions will start on Thursday 23rd August at 10am on Bisley Old Road allotments in Stroud.

working_together_on_the_allotmentWOW! is aimed at women who like being outdoors, growing food and learning new skills in practical conservation.

Ivi Szaboova, Stroud Valleys Project’s Biodiversity Officer who will run the group said: “SVP had a fantastic response to the idea of women-only food growing courses. During two spring courses women worked together in a supportive group and learnt how to grow organic veg. Recent funding from Ecominds allows SVP to start up WOW! Women Outside Working, a new weekly food growing and conservation group for women – a first for Stroud! “

Even just five minutes of outdoor exercise like walking in a wood or working in a garden improves people’s mental wellbeing, according to a study published in the Environmental Science and Technology Journal. (2010).

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Tree_plantingA staggering 956 trees were planted during The Big Tree Plant organised by Stroud Valleys Project, benefiting 10 sites in Stroud District, and involving 94 adults and 75 children. Two new community orchards were created in Stroud and Nailsworth and two orchards in Thrupp and Eastington were improved by planting heritage apple, pear and plum varieties. New avenues of native trees and small-scale woodlands were planted by community groups, school children, parish councillors and Stroud Valleys Project’s Green Team volunteers.

The Big Tree Plant project also organised the first Apple Day in Stroud as part of the Stroud Apple Town initiative, with juicing, tasting, 40 apple varieties on display and information on Gloucestershire apples to encourage residents to plant heritage fruit trees.

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SVP_Green_TeamThe Green Team, one of Stroud Valleys Project’s (SVP) outdoor conservation project, celebrates the win of a £30K Ecominds grant from the mental health charity Mind, on behalf of the Big Lottery Fund.

The award comes in recognition of the Green Team’s work, supporting local residents with mental health problems by using conservation work on local green spaces as a form of therapy. This is SVP’s second Ecominds grant which will fund the Green Team to continue this work until March 2013.

Stroud Valleys Project’s Green Team

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THURSDAY 3rd May – 12th July (fortnightly sessions)

10am – 1pm

After the success of the women-only food growing course, Stroud Valleys Project is running a follow-up course. The sessions are aimed at improving women’s mental and physical wellbeing. If you enjoy meeting people, learning how to grow veg and want to feel better by exercising outdoors, then this is the course for you.

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If you want to see a modern-day dragon, head down Great Crested Newtto Stroud Valleys Project’s annual survey of Great Crested Newts in Stonehouse on Friday 13th (7.30-9PM) and Saturday 14th April (7-8.30AM). 

Help SVP’s Green Team volunteers count Great Crested Newts, one of our local protected species. This annual survey is a rare opportunity to get a close-up view of newts and find out about their ecology.  We will set up newt-friendly traps on Friday evening, check them early on Saturday morning and release the newts back to where we found them. 

Wear wellies and outdoor gear, and bring a torch for the evening session. No toilets or refreshments on site. 

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Big cat experts are coming to Stroud in March to give an illustrated talk. Author Rick Minter and wild cat watcher Frank Tunbridge from Gloucester will be discussing the evidence and implications for the existence of these beasts at St Laurence Church Hall on Thursday 15 March.

Big CatThe speakers will look at the likelihood of big cats living in the Stroud valleys and discuss the implications of feral cats for people and wildlife.

This talk and discussion has been set up by environmental charity Stroud Valleys Project. SVP chief executive Clare Mahdiyone explained: “ We know that there is a great deal of speculation about the existence of in big cats in Gloucestershire as people keep coming into our eco shop to ask us about them.

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Bat detecting, an orchid walk and a day of gardening were among the “green” prizes on offer by environmental charity Stroud Valleys Project who ran their first annual raffle in December.

Orchid Walk Voucher“We wanted to make sure that the prizes reflected the ethics of our charity – to promote sustainable lifestyles and to help people care for and learn about the environment,” said Katharine Hope, who organised the event.  "So in addition to an organic veg box, gardening items and a compost caddy we were thrilled when colleagues volunteered their own skills and knowledge to provide some unusual prizes. We would like to thank everyone who donated prizes and who bought tickets. We hope that the prize winners enjoy their personal walks with our resident bat and orchid experts!”

The day of gardening was won by Marion Mitchell from Stroud, the personal orchid walk by Andy Treacher from Stroud, and the bat detecting session by Kevin Gribble from Gloucester.

The raffle raised over £600 to support the work of the Stroud based charity.

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Stroud Valleys Project is looking for women to join a new group to learn about gardening by working on their allotment in Bisley Old Road. The environmental charity has been funded by Adult Education to run an introductory course for six weeks to help women build their confidence by working together in a group.

Women_only_Dec11_-_Working_togetherSVP project officer Ivi Szaboova said: “Latest research shows that more women are suffering mild to moderate mental health problems so we decided to offer a special course for women to help them tackle low self-esteem and combat stress. The six week course is starting in February 2012 and we are looking for 10 women to sign up.”

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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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