Volunteers support Council commitment to green spaces in the district
Dedicated volunteers have teamed up with Wakefield Council to grow and care for thousands of plants and young trees, ready for planting in the district's parks and countryside.
The tree nursery at Thornes Park was started in 2016 to support community tree planting projects. Thanks to an innovative partnership scheme, Wakefield tree warden volunteers work with young adults with learning difficulties on projects which has included restoring approximately 135 park benches and putting them back in their original positions for people to use.
In winter, the group builds bird and bat boxes and grows wildflowers from British native seeds in the glasshouses, which are then distributed to sites including 16 nature reserves in the district. In the last three years over 70,000 plants have been produced. The team are also working on a scheme to refurbish litter bins.
This work was recognised when Wakefield tree wardens, the day opportunities team which works with young adults with learning difficulties, and Wakefield Council, reached the finals of the Association of Public Service Excellence awards for innovation.
Cllr Maureen Cummings, Cabinet Member for Environment and Communities at Wakefield Council, said: "We are very fortunate to have such committed volunteers who are all willing to give their time and efforts to support a wide range of initiatives that together make a real difference.
"This shows just how much we value our trees and plants in our district. I'd like to thank everyone who contributes to our parks and countryside and makes them such great places for everyone to enjoy."
Volunteers have also supported improvements in the rose garden in Thornes Park which has been restored and is home to one of the largest collections of roses in the region.
Last year the Rose Garden Nursery shop opened, selling fruit and vegetables grown in the nursery, with the income re-invested into the project and the wider park.
Local groups and schools are given tours of the park, nursery and the cactus house, where they learn about the park's history and management of the land.
A variety of other groups and volunteers also support the parks and countryside across the district.
The Council has over 400 volunteers involved in services including in parks as well as libraries, at the Castles, and to support health and youth services in the district.
There are also a wide range of volunteer roles to look into with local charities and in the community.
For more information on volunteering opportunities visit: www.wakefield.gov.uk/volunteer