Help us save our parks and green spaces

QEII volunteersSadly budget cuts are affecting our parks. Park use is rising, with 57% of adults now visiting their park once a month or more, while 90% of families with children under five head to their local green space at least monthly, the State of UK Public Parks 2016 study reveals.

Dave Morris, chair of the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces, said: “The only way to halt the ever deepening funding crisis affecting all parks across the UK is to make it a statutory service.”

He added: “Parks take a long time to fall apart. It’s not immediately noticeable, like a library closing, but all the pillars of effective park management and maintenance are crumbling. If not reversed, parks will be plunged into the disaster crisis of the 1980s and 1990s when they became no go areas full of syringes and no park rangers.”

Tightening budgets are expected to lead to declines in quality of green spaces. Three-quarters of local authorities have cut staff, with the loss of skills such as horticulture, landscape design and wildlife management.

The Communities and Local Government Committeehas launched a “public parks inquiry” - looking at how parks should be supported now and in the future. The Committee will be asking what the future is for our open spaces and we want to explore the ways in which parks can be supported and secured for generations to come.


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Start your new year’s resolution early and get out and about with Stroud Valleys Project’s new walk leaflets

Stroud Valleys Project is launching its new walk leaflets to encourage people to come outside and enjoy the beautiful countryside around Stroud. All six are now available from the Stroud Valleys Project Eco shop on Threadneedle Street and Tourist Information in the Sub Rooms.

Map TBFor the past 18 months Stroud Valleys Project has been running ‘Wild about Stroud’, funded through Gloucestershire County Councils Active Together scheme. Throughout this period they have been out and about around Stroud with their volunteers in all weathers walking, gardening and taking care of green spaces such as Capel’s Mill (down by the canal, off Dr Newton’s way).

Each walk has a theme: Family Walk, Town Centre Walk, Pushchair/Wheelchair Walk, Archaeology Walk, Wildlife Walk and Landscape Walk. All of the walks take a different angle on a usual walk. The Landscape and Wildlife walks are circular, but involve a bus ride out to the Nailsworth Valley and a return walk back to Stroud via the commons, while the family walk starts at one playground and takes the scenic route to another, with lots of activities for children to do along the way. The town centre walk is ideal for anyone in town with a little spare time on their hands and is perfect for anyone on their lunch break.

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Stroud Valleys Project calls out for votes to bag a share of a £12.5million carrier bag charge fund

Stroud Valleys Project is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

The supermarket has teamed up with Groundwork on its Bags of Help initiative, which see grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to environmental and greenspace projects.

Three groups in each of Tesco’s 416 regions have been shortlisted to receive the cash award. Stroud Valleys Project is one of the three groups on the Stroud based shortlist.

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Can you volunteer with us?

We have been enjoying the long summer - a busy time for us with many events and activities. The main focus of our work is on environmental projects, so for example at this time of year we are doing lots of scything and autumn clearance work all over the Stroud area. The picture shows us raking at Bisley Road Cemetery. It is important to be aware of the wildlife that can be disturbed by this type of work. This year we have found large numbers of slow worms; the juveniles are particularly vulnerable as they are so small. When found we move them to undergrowth out of harm’s way.

We are always looking for new volunteers to help us.   In September we started a new joint project with Cainscross Parish Council at Queen Elizabeth II Playing Field in Dudbridge, funded by the Postcode Local Trust. Stroud Valleys Project is co-ordinating the work, which will mainly be carried out by local people and our volunteers. We are starting by creating a wildflower bank and improving the pond area. Jobs for the future will include installing seating, carrying out woodland improvement, making bird & bat boxes and putting in some interpretation boards.

“Wild About Kingswood” also started this year. Based just outside Wotton-Under-Edge, we are working in partnership with Kingswood Parish Council to create a new green space for wildlife and the local residents. We are creating and restoring ponds, orchard, woodland and grassland areas. This mosaic of habitats supports a population of great crested newts.

Each of our projects offers the opportunity for volunteers to meet new people, learn new skills, keep fit and active outdoors and it all helps to look after our local environment and green spaces. Do join us and help to make a difference to our local area!

Baby slow wormNews col pic Oct 16




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Gloucestershire County Council and over 70 voluntary community social enterprise (VCSE), public and private sector partners from across the county have joined together and won £3.2million funding to help the county's most vulnerable adults into work, training or education; the project is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.


This exciting new project, known as The Gloucestershire GEM (Going the Extra Mile) Project, will engage with 1,100 people over three years commencing October 2016 and will focus on people who face challenges in getting into work, and support them to move closer towards education, training, volunteering or employment.


The GEM Project will be managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust (GGT) on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council. The project will be delivered by GEM Delivery Partners and, as one of those Partners, we now wish to recruit a Navigator Developer for the lifetime of this three year project.

Target GEM Project Participants are Women, Addictions, Over 50s, Rural, Disability, Learning Disability, Carers, Black and Minority Ethnic, Homeless, Mental Health, and Unemployed.


Navigator Developer (part time)

Location: Stroud Valleys Project, Stroud

Salary: £19,000 to £23,000 per annum (FTE) dependent upon experience

The successful candidate will provide intensive day to day 1:2:1 support to GEM Project participants to build their stability, confidence, motivation and readiness to learn, and ultimately move them closer towards education, training, volunteering or work, including self-employment.

Key Personal Attributes

  • Good communication skills;
  • Ability to think strategically;
  • Strong relationship management skills;
  • Empathy with GEM participants.

Relevant Experience and Qualifications

  • Lived experience as, or having worked with, vulnerable or disengaged people;
  • Literate and numerate;
  • Basic IT skills.


This role is for a 3 year Fixed Term Contract period until 30th September 2019 and may provide secondment opportunities for individuals.


Anyone wishing to submit a job application in an alternative format, as a form of reasonable adjustment, should in the first instance contact us.


To apply email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 01453 753358 for an Application Form and Job Specification and return to the same email address. CV’s will not be accepted unless accompanied by a fully completed Application Form.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Wednesday 19thOctober 2016.




Almost 100 runners and walkers enjoyed the Stroud Valleys Project and Cotswold Allrunners event on Sunday 18 September. It was a lovely sunny day. Walkers and runners alike tackled beautiful woodland, hilly terrain and fantastic nature in Cranham, Birdlip, Sheepscombe and Witcombe. Participants came from as far afield as Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

Volunteers for Stroud Valleys Project are usually far more used to working on the land and creating habitat for wildlife, but they all took a day off to enjoy the beautiful Cotswold countryside. One volunteer said – ‘I haven’t tackled a walk like this for 20 years. I have really enjoyed it’. Some of the volunteers raised sponsorship for the charity based on how many different species of bird, tree, flower, grass, insect they saw; on the 2.5 mile walk alone people saw over 70 different species. Everyone who took part received a lovely medal with the Cranham Beast on it.

Afterwards, volunteers and runners alike enjoyed a sausage in a bun and homemade cakes.The Beast Sept16

CEO Clare Mahdiyone said ‘Everyone really enjoyed the event. People want to get out into the Cotswold countryside but some people aren’t sure where to go, and how to get there. This event takes people by the hand and shows them the way.’

The charity would like to thank all the people who made the event possible. 

It is not too late to donate to the charity for this event. Just click onto the Virgin Money Giving button above or call into the Eco Shop in Threadneedle Street and sponsor David Richards, one of our volunteers.

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Local Triathlete raises over £400 for Stroud Valleys Project at the London Triathlon. SVP-logo-trans

  • #BeatTheBoss charity challenge saw 98 TSB Partners and 23 TSB Local Charity Partners attempt to beat the boss, Paul Pester, TSB CEO.
  • Robin Loftus from Stroud Triathlon Club #Beat the Boss with amazing times

On Saturday 6 August 2016, Robin Loftus from Stroud Triathlon Club took part in the London Triathlon, on behalf of Stroud Valleys Project, raising over £400 for the people and the environment of Stroud.

Robin went head-to-head against the Bank’s CEO, Paul Pester, in his annual #BeatTheBoss challenge, alongside 98 TSB Partners and 23 TSB Local Charity Partners from across Britain.



As one of the Bank’s Local Charity Partners, Stroud Valleys Project was invited to take part in the event by Paul, who personally committed to sponsor those who participated with TSB £50 to go to a charity of their choice, plus an extra £50 if they managed to beat his time.

Robin came second overall in Olympic distance race on the Leamouth route. He had to swim 71.3km, Cycle 1900km and run 475km. He did the swim in 27.51; the Bike ride in 1.04 and the run in 40.36. He comfortably #Beat the Boss, Paul Pester, which is no mean feat because apparently, Paul Pester regularly runs the three peak challenge before breakfast!

Robin Loftus is a member of Stroud Triathlon Club…/stroud-triathlon-club_22… . There is still time to contribute to his Virgin Money Giving Page: Stroud Valleys Project say a big thank you to Robin for taking part in this event on their behalf.

Robin Loftus said: “Taking part in the London Triathlon was a real test of endurance, but a lot of fun! And, of course, it’s incredibly rewarding to see how much money was raised for so many great causes. Thanks to everyone who sponsored me, including TSB’s CEO, Paul Pester, who invited us to take part in his #BeatTheBoss challenge.”

CEO of Stroud Valleys Project Clare Mahdiyone said “We are so pleased that Robin agreed to run for us and to take part in this opportunity. Later this year we are teaming up with Cotswolds Allrunners for another sponsored event so it will be a great sporting year for us.

Paul Pester, CEO of TSB Bank, said: “Saturday’s London Triathlon was the culmination of many months of training for TSB Partners and our Local Charity Partners from right across the UK. The atmosphere was fantastic and it was great to see so many friends and family out supporting our TSB triathletes who put in a brilliant performance – especially those who #BeatTheBoss!

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The Beast Sept16We are really looking forward to our new sponsored event which takes place on Sunday 18th September. We have teamed up with Cotswold Allrunners to bring you an event which is great for everyone, from the ultra fit, to people recovering fitness and just wanting to get out into the countryside. There are three routes, 2.5 miles, 8 miles and 17 miles.

You can run or walk each route. Included in the 2.5 mile route is a gentle walk through Cranham Woods, looking at birds, trees, insects and wild flowers. We hope you will get sponsorship for every single thing you spot. For walking and running we hope people will sponsor you per mile. Then come back to base in Cranham for a sausage in a bun/ a cup of tea and a piece of cake. It promises to be a great day.

Street Style

Stroud Valleys Project are pleased to be working with Cotswold Allrunners in ‘The Cranham Beast’ sponsored event. The Beast Sept16

The Cranham Beast is a trail event which takes in some of the most hilly, but beautiful, and stunning parts of the Cotswolds.  The event gives runners and walkers the opportunity to explore fantastic common land, diverse woodland, the famous Cheese Rollers Hill (Coopers Hill), get spectacular Cotswold views and visit local villages such as Sheepscombe, Witcombe, Birdlip and of course Cranham.

There is something in this event for everyone, from the very fit, to people recovering fitness and wanting to get out in the beautiful Cotswold Countryside.

If readers would like to take part, go to the Cotswold Allrunners website or call Stroud Valleys Project charity on 01453 753358. Stroud Valleys Project would like supporters to raise vital funds for the charity.

CEO Clare Mahdiyone said, ‘We are really pleased to be working with Cotswold Allrunners this year. We think that together we have devised a sponsored event which includes everyone, from the very fit to those who are just starting out on their journey to fitness.

Click here for more information.


Street Style

26 May 2016

Some of our local wildlife is difficult to see, such as moths that fly at night which can be really beautiful, but we rarely see them properly. We are working with Adult Education in Gloucestershire to help members of the public learn more about the butterflies and moths of Bisley Road Cemetery, which is a Local Nature Reserve in Stroud, managed by Stroud Town Council.

The butterfly session on Tuesday 14 June 10am – 1pm will be led by Sue Smith, Chair of the Gloucestershire branch of Butterfly Conservation, and will look at butterflies, their larval plants and their nectar sources.

The moth session on Friday 10 June, 9.30am – 12.30pm will be led by Bob Smith from the Gloucestershire branch of Butterfly Conservation. Bob will show us some of the moths that are night visitors to this Local Nature Reserve.  We will learn about their lifecycles and behaviour, and how to encourage moths into your garden at home.

We are looking forward to Stroud Festival of Nature which starts on 10 June with George Monbiot at the Sub Rooms - there were still some tickets left at time of writing, but they are going fast. There will be lots of nature and outdoor events over the summer, if you would like more information you can pick up a programme of events from SVP eco shop.

Our popular Seedling Swap is on Saturday 4 June from 10.30 to 1pm. If you have any spare or unwanted seedlings bring them along and exchange them for others you don’t have! Both vegetable and flower varieties welcome. Even if you don’t have any seedlings to swap, you can still pick some up for a donation to Stroud Valleys Project.  It’s a great way to meet other gardeners and to share advice and knowledge.

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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


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