Environmental charity Stroud Valleys Project are pleased to announce that eCycle and Ritch Hill Cycles will be supporting their annual bike ride. Ritch Hill Cycles have kindly agreed to offer free bike checks for riders who take part in the sponsored event.
In addition, eCycle will be supplying two electric bicycles for their Chief Executive, Clare Mahdiyone, and Chair of Trustees, Leonora Rozee. This will help Clare and Leonora to take part in the bike ride and ride further this year, thus ensuring they get lots of sponsorship for the charity’s annual Bike Ride which will take place on Sunday 14 June 2015.
Clare Mahdiyone said, "We are really pleased to have the support of eCycle and Ritch Hill Cycles this year. We think people in Stroud are really interested in electric bikes because Stroud is so hilly." eCycle will be available at Stratford Park on the day to talk to people about electric bikes. If any are sold as a result of the bike ride day, eCycle will donate a proportion of the profits to Stroud Valleys Project.
Anyone wishing to use their bike for the sponsored bike ride and would like a free Bike Check can call Ritch Hill on 07947 247 884.
James and Owen stationers will also be sponsoring us again this year - their contribution in providing all our printing needs is invaluable.
I would like to thank all involved in Rodborough Real Gardens and Sculpture Trail which raised a fantastic sum for our funds. I would also like to thank everyone involved in our charity bike ride. I am pleased to have cycled 22 miles and raised over £300 and I hope I have recovered by the time this goes to press; padded cycling shorts are definitely the way forward!
For those of you interested in learning more about nature and wildlife we are putting on a wide range of courses including how to create a pond in two days, how to create a rain garden or to learn more about the wide variety of wildlife we have in this area. If you have been to events during the Festival of Nature and would like to learn more about bats, badgers, butterflies, moths or the insects found in a pond, you can come and spend half a day with an expert and take your knowledge to the next level. The Badger course for example, features Tony Dean, a previous chair of Gloucestershire Badger Group who will explain how to watch a sett without disturbing the badgers. Pond dipping for adults - what makes a pond healthy? We will dip into a local pond and identify what we find. More information and course dates are available in our eco shop, or on our website.
We are running our popular course on Scything again this year in partnership with Flora Locale where you can learn to use an Austrian scythe with Clive Leeke. Austrian scythes are lighter and easier to use and sharpen than English scythes and are better for your back.
The ‘Peli Pop Up Park’, situated in the pub garden next to the Farmers Market is starting to happen. We are creating a temporary pop up park, with the agreement of the landowner. Work has just started clearing the rubbish, repairing the benches and preparing the ground for planting. If you are interested in getting involved, now is a good time. We would like to plant edible plants and flowers. We are currently looking for containers to plant up on the tarmac area, preferably something we can recycle or reuse.... if you can help please let me know.
And finally we would like to thank TSB for making us their charity of the year. We were delighted that to launch their fundraising activities for us, Fran Ockwell joined us on the bike ride, and were very grateful for help on the day from Michelle Noel.
We are delighted to have been chosen to benefit from Rodborough Open Gardens and Sculpture Trail on Sunday 7th June .You will have the opportunity to explore beautiful, ordinary and inspiring gardens in and around Church Place, Rodborough. View sculptures by local artists, and visit the Stroud Valleys Project book stall. Enjoy tea, cake, and ice cream. Tickets are available in advance from Stroud Valleys Project eco shop.
The Festival of Nature is coming up and will take place for two weeks at the end of June. Our wildlife and nature organisations have got together to organise lots of events and activities that are really exciting. Two highlights for me are a talk from Matthew Oates from the National Trust entitled ‘For the love of butterflies’. The talk will include readings from Matthew’s new book; ‘In Pursuit of Butterflies, a 50 Year Affair’. The other highlight is a talk about otters from the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust’s ‘otter man’.
There is another chance to see the ‘Lives Light and Biodiversity’ exhibition by Paul and Helen Green at Stroud Brewery on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th June as part of the Festival of nature. This is an exhibition of photographs featuring our work, people, and the amazing places we have on our doorstep.
Don’t forget our Bike Ride which is on Sunday 14th June, starting from the Museum in the Park. Everyone who raises sponsorship for us or makes a donation will be entered into a free prize draw. Prizes are a £30 gift voucher for a Friday night meal at William’s Kitchen in Nailsworth, a meal for two at the Star Anise noodle night and some fine wines from Raffles Fine Wines in Nailsworth.
We are thrilled that TSB local branch have made our charity their first charity of the year. The partnership was unveiled by branch manager Michelle Noel who presented the charity with a £100 donation from TSB to kick-start their partnership at the local branch in Stroud’s high street.
Instead of having a centrally chosen charity of the year, TSB partners across Britain are empowered to recognise local causes. Stroud Valleys Project was nominated locally for the work it does in the community of Stroud by helping local people to care for and learn about the natural environment.
It is a great help to small local charities like ours to be nominated in this way. Fran Ockwell from TSB has kindly agreed to do our sponsored bike ride this year. She will attempt the 38 mile route on an electric bike supplied by eCycle.
See the TSB press release here :
Welcome to our new monthly column for Stroud Valleys Project. This is a busy time of year for us, once spring is here people think much more about outdoors, and we provide lots of opportunities to join in and do things in and around the Stroud area. I am taking part in our sponsored bike ride on Sunday 14 June, having not been on a bike for 4 years I am a bit nervous so have started practicing this week. The bike ride is good for me as we have Ritch Hill Cycles doing free bike checks before the event as well as driving a van round the route to pick up people who cannot get to the end – possibly me! I have challenged Peter Withy at James and Owen, sponsors of the bike ride, to take part, I am going to use an electric bike (on loan from eCycle of John Street) and Peter is going to ride an ordinary leg powered bike. We would like to challenge any other chief executives to join us, will you?
Everything is growing, both in the garden and in our wild places, our volunteers are working hard to improve places for wildlife, and digging and planting in our allotment. If you would like to find out more about our volunteering opportunities do call us or come and talk to us. We have our annual seedling swap and sale coming up on Saturday 23 May, its a good time to plant seeds now then they will be ready for May and you can come and meet fellow gardeners and swap plants and gardening tips. I always grow too many seedlings as you never know how many will actually survive, so this is a good opportunity to share any extra plants you may have and try growing something different. We just need to keep an eye out for frosts over the next few weeks with small plants outdoors.
Stroud Valleys Project is launching a new project called Wild About Stroud that will train volunteers to deliver seasonal outdoor activities including walks, outdoor conservation and food growing activities in our local community.
The Project is funded by Gloucestershire County Council’s Active Together fund through County Councillors, Sarah Lunnon (Central Ward) & Brian Oosthuysen (Rodborough Ward.)
“The sheer joy of being next to the river in the woods, will, due to this project become available to many more of us.” Said Cllr Sarah Lunnon. “It's for adults and children to enjoy being a little wild and adventurous, but in walking distance of Stroud and Rodborough.”
As part of the project, Stroud Valleys Project will be working in five green spaces around Stroud including Frome Banks nature reserve where we will be working in partnership with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust to enhance the site, improve access and create a children’s wild play area.
Tamsin Bent, Wild About Stroud Project Officer says, “We want this project to encourage people to use beautiful green spaces like Frome Banks nature reserve and Capel’s Mill that link Stroud Town Centre and Rodborough to the Commons and wider countryside as well as benefitting the local community.”
As part of the project we will also be devising six walks which will be led by trained volunteers and produce a series of leaflets (downloadable from our website and available from our eco shop in Threadneedle Street), so people can do self-guided walks after the project ends.
We are now looking for volunteers to join our new team, so if you have a few of hours to spare on a Wednesday morning and would enjoy being involved in seasonal outdoor activities and/or train to be a walk leader we would love to hear from you.
Wednesday 15th April to Saturday 25th April 2015, Open 10.30am to 4pm daily, closed Sunday and Monday
Minchinhampton photographers, Paul and Helen Green are putting on their third exhibition as Thresholds Photography, Lives, Light and Biodiversity, in Lansdown Gallery, Stroud from 15th to 25th April. Previous exhibitions have been described as, “beautiful”, “inspiring”, “magic”, and “thought provoking, challenging the viewer to reflect on how we perceive the world around us”. Between commissioned work, they like to work on projects that have significance to them and the work of Stroud Valleys Project is close to their hearts.
Paul’s images evoke a real sense of place, drawing on his active involvement with Stroud Valleys Project over the last 5 years. The main sites he has worked on are Rackleaze Nature Reserve, a pocket of unimproved wet grassland nestling between the river Cam and a supermarket car park and the Stonehouse Newt Ponds, a collection of ponds that are home to a significant population of great crested newts. Both places offer an abundance of wildlife habitats that could easily be overlooked. Paul’s images show the work that goes into the sites to manage them, encourage biodiversity and make them accessible as public green spaces.
Helen’s experience as a portrait photographer under the Helen Green Photography banner led her to approach the project from a different angle, to recognise the valuable contribution made by people, whether they are trustees, volunteers, project officers or managers. Helen said, “I wanted to show them in their working clothes, being themselves, letting their individuality shine through. I met some great characters. Having started out asking people to think seriously about the environment, most of them ended up laughing - they really enjoy what they do!”
Helen and Paul would love you to come along and have a look at their work. Entry is free and in order to support the great work they do, 10% of print sales from the exhibition will be donated to Stroud Valleys Project.
See the exhibition at Lansdown Gallery, Stroud, Glos. GL5 1BB
Don’t let unwanted 2015 diaries and calendars gather dust on your desk, drop them off at Stroud Valleys Project eco shop at 8 Threadneedle Street instead, so others can use them.
The Diary Swap works like this:
Drop off unwanted 2015 diaries or calendar, and/or
Pop in and collect one if you need one (and make a donation if you can)
Saving resources and at the same time reducing the clutter on your desk. The swap will be running until the end of January.
For more information please phone us on 01453 753358.
Volunteers from local environmental charity Stroud Valleys Project have started work in Stratford Park planting trees to improve homes for wildlife after a pair of little owls living in a nesting box died last year.
SVP project officer Richard Lewis said, “Sadly last year the storms blew down the walnut tree where the little owls were roosting and the pair in the nest box were killed. We are hoping that the work we are doing planting new trees will attract all kinds of wildlife, but especially the little owls which are in decline across the UK."
The charity is asking local people to support their work in the park by making a donation of £10 towards each tree that is planted.
© Barn Owl Centre of Gloucestershire
“We are aiming to plant 1,000 trees and it would be great for local people to know that their money was helping to renew and restore a vital part of the town’s natural habitat,” said Richard.
According to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds little owl numbers are declining in Britain with the UK population down 24 percent between 1995 and 2008.
People can donate their £10 by calling into the Stroud Valleys Project eco shop on Threadneedle Street or visiting the website at www.stroudvalleysproject.org and clicking on the Virgin Money Giving button or they can donate by text. To donate £10, text RSVP14£10 to 70071, or choose another amount.
For more information please contact Richard Lewis or Julie Wickham on 01453 753358
The restoration of the canal side site at Capel’s Mill by Stroud Valleys Project has revealed a treasure trove of artefacts buried in the old rubbish tip there. SVP’s volunteers have been cleaning and collating all the ‘treasure’ found while they are restoring the site to a wildlife meadow and have now made a window display in the shop in Threadneedle St with everything they have uncovered.
Finds include a newspaper from 1967 with a feature about Sir Francis Chichester and his solo circumnavigation of the world, old fish paste and washing up bottles and even a coin dating from the reign of George lll.
Project officer Fred Miller explained, ”Stroud had a rubbish tip in the 1960’s and 70’s in and around the old mill pond at Capel’s Mill, and as we work restoring this site by the canal, we are finding things that people threw away 50 years ago.”
Last month the environmental charity picked up an award from the Gloucestershire branch of the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) in recognition of all the work they are doing on the Capel’s Mill restoration ‘for using volunteers, local businesses and the community to help transform an old tip into and important area of waterside parkland.”