One of our marketing volunteers, Annie Vencl, braved the Autumn weather, put on her muddy boots and experienced her first Parks in Mind session. Read her blog below to see what she learnt during her day.
I arrived at Horseshoe common and began chatting with the other people that had turned up. Peter, the organiser of parks in mind made sure everyone was introduced and we started walking up together to find a suitable place to make a clearing in the wooded area.
Horseshoe common looked the best I’d ever seen it, turning shades of oranges and reds in the autumn. I started to give the place appreciation I’d never stopped and given it before, the people around me and the thought that we were going to maintain the park made me notice how lucky we were to have it. Peter pointed out not many towns could say they had a miniature woodland imbedded in the centre of town!
A quick introduction was made to explain that today we’d be clearing a patch within the woodland to increase the diversity of vegetation that could grow in the park. By creating a glade, we were mimicking what would happen in nature, which Peter said is exactly what conservation is about. We began to move debris and chop down dominant tree species which will then give way to species that have trouble competing to grow.
As we shifted, chopped and raked you could really see the progression we were making. We all worked at our own pace but there was a sense of a team as we all together. Racking our clearing right up to the path was the perfect place to stop for tea and coffee. Peter had a gas fired stove he boiled up and we had tea and biscuits whilst getting to know each other. This part of the day really made me think how rarely we are without things we think are necessary like a kettle, and the simplicity of having to use gas really made me feel the wonder of the outdoors and how separate we usually are from it within our daily lives. It was great to be doing something different and detached from the bustle we usually feel, getting to meet new people working together in a wonderful environment to create visible change. It lead to a real sense of accomplishment and something I’d love to go back to to see our progress grow.
If you're thinking about going along to one of the activities I'd say go for it! I'm sure you'll meet some great people and learn loads too, you can find out more about the activities and how to get in touch here.