Children volunteer in East Sheen!
I thought this title might attract the attention of a few! It is true however. Yes I am a mean mother and volunteered my 8yr old and 12yr old to volunteer down at Palewell Common & Fields where Gina from Nature’s Gym was organizing various path clearing etc activities.
I have to say they really really enjoyed themselves and were suitably exhausted afterwards having spent 1 1/2 – 2 hrs down on the Common.
Who came to volunteer?
The group who came to volunteer consisted of the organizer, Gina from Nature’s Gym you can find her on facebook here – Natures Gym Facebook. We also had David who is Chair of the volunteering group, The Friends of Palewell Common and Fields (see their website here – The Friends of Palewell Common & Fields or you can follow their blog here – The Friends Of Palewell Common, or you can friend their Fb account or Fb page, or better still follow and twitter them on their twitter – Friends of Palewell Common & Fields Twitter @PalewellCommon. There were a couple of other Friends committee members and members but I know they would have liked more.
It is surprising the amount of behind the scene work that goes on by volunteers through either The Friends of Palewell Common and Fields or Nature’s Gym that I am sure most residents do not really notice nor have any idea of. But if the work was not done, things would soon get unruly and not look as manageable and pleasant as they do. So if you have any time to spare, please do join in on these volunteering activities, you can spend as long or as little time as you like.
Both my children and myself got to learn a whole heap more about the forest, nature and gardening in general. We got some exercise, fresh air and chatted with some lovely people. All members present were totally at ease with the 100 questions my lively youngest would fire off one after the other without drawing breath and managed to occupy them in a totally engaged fashion in clearing brambles, cutting down branches and overgrown areas.
They strode through the forest with cutters in hand, I admit I was slightly nervous as to whether they would damage either themselves or the implements, but they waltzed down the pathways like warriors and set to work in united fashion with the adults.
What did we do?
As you move through the path, there are many areas where either brambles, branches or other vegetation would smack you in the face or catch your ankles etc, which is particularly annoying for joggers amongst other residents. These were clipped back.
There was a large overgrown area of brambles all down the side of the path that has the Richmond Park brick wall beside it, now a pram would fit down this path. You can see from the pictures below the before and after.
There were areas where trees had fallen over, or branches that were either in the way or a hazard, these were sawn up and moved away.
You will see from the picture below that a branch high up is precariously hanging off another branch, about ready to fall down and hit a walker, this will be reported and dealt with. Do you see it?
We noted areas of interest, as The Friends of Palewell Common and Fields are hoping to create a nature walk. There is already the den with a vine to swing off (how long the vine will last I’ve no idea). There is also the Woodpecker tree, which stands in solitary fashion with many holes easily visible up the entire length.
Believe it or not there is a pond, well a kind of pond with a small stream, we cleared the path to there also and areas were noted that needed more work done.
Of course on the way we found various creatures and insects, two were a newt and a rather handsome looking spider!
There is talk also of a bug hotel being built or two perhaps a focal area for the children to enjoy seeing the bugs and insects that help also to clear the forest floor, giving them a hotel fit to compete with the Dorchester!
After the stint of volunteering we bumped in to two local dog walkers, being a dog fan I had to take pictures, one is of monty owned by Ali from Oh Darling in East Sheen, the other is a stunning french bulldog called Rocky, no idea who owns him but whoever it is is lucky! I am a bit biased as I have a frenchie myself.
We then finished off of course down at the icecream parlour which brought a great big smile to my boys faces.
If you want to find out regularly about events and activites, why not join to become a member of the Friends of Palewell Common and Fields, it is only £10 per annum for an entire family, this gives you a discount card for various things ie at Pistachios on the Common, gets you on the list for recent events and items to discuss but more importantly gives you a say in what goes on on your local common and gives you also the knowledge that the money spent gets re invested in various events and also restorative/productive acitivities on the Common.
Thank you as always for reading, Justine xx
© Justine Nagaur, LivinginEastSheen.co.uk