Archive for woodland

Vauxhall staff clear the road

vauxhall-volunteersVauxhall Network Q staff from all across the country visited us recently to volunteer in helping establish the charity’s new Wild Wood Challenge. The 21-strong team spent a day working alongside the our own staff to clear space for ‘villages’ to be built in its wooded area.

Once introduced, participants in this challenge will have the opportunity to spend a day in the woods, taking on a range of fun activities such as building shelters, lighting fires and learning new skills in a natural setting. We’ve previously run pilots of its Wild Wood Challenge but were short of space to accommodate school groups who regularly enjoy its other activities. The support of Vauxhall Network Q’s team was a huge help as it was expected that clearing the space would take a considerable amount of time and place a strain on the charity’s resources. Barnstondale now has three sites available which are particularly suited to taking groups of children.

Vauxhall Network Q has a strong commitment to supporting the local community and as part of its 25th birthday celebrations the team decided to support Barnstondale, which its Ellesmere Port branch has worked with in the past. As well as championing its company values, the staff saw the day as an opportunity for a useful team building exercise. The team certainly proved its ability to overcome many obstacles, especially given the initial doubt which many felt towards being able to clear the entire space in a single day. Staff members even had time spare to try their hand at rifle shooting, climbing and abseiling before returning to their work locations across the country.

Commented Derek Wilson, Operations Manager for Vauxhall Network Q division: “We wanted to support Barnstondale because we heard about their work in bringing young people together from a variety of different backgrounds – providing opportunities for everybody to learn, grow and personally develop. A big part of our ethos is about supporting champions of the community such as this charity and we had a great time doing it. We would recommend people pay a visit and get involved themselves if they haven’t already been.”

Commented George Jones, centre manager at Barnstondale: “The effort from the Vauxhall team was amazing, they worked so hard to create the clear spaces we need for our Wild Wood Challenge. They were great company and we enjoyed showing them some of our other activities. We really do appreciate all their help. We warmly welcome any future efforts from other businesses whose staff would like to get hands on in supporting us”

Hopes of beautiful bluebells return

bluebellsWith the help of local school children from Pensby Primary, volunteer John Earp has been doing his bit to help conserve Barnstondale’s beautiful rural setting.

When the bluebells are in bloom on the dales, it’s a beautiful sight to see. But there has been a noticeable decline in recent times, so we were advised by Dr Hilary Ash, Hon. Conservation Officer for Wirral Wildlife to plant native bluebells to replenish them. On a cold winter’s day in November, John and the schoolchildren planted approximately 1,000 bluebells, which should come into bloom this spring.

Dr Hilary Ash, Hon. Conservation Officer for Wirral Wildlife said: “Barnstondale includes areas of ancient woodland where bluebells should thrive. When the bluebells flower in April-May, they are a feast for us to look at and smell, but also important early nectar for pollinators waking up after winter. It is excellent to see that everyone at Barnstondale has worked hard to re-introduce the flower into the local area. I was pleased to be able to give advice on how best they could help the situation and they have done a brilliant job.

“It is always good to involve children in caring for our world (and getting muddy in the process!). I’m sure the children learnt a few useful tips from John and the team about conservation work and the importance of maintaining the natural environment, which will be extremely valuable knowledge for them in the future.”

Over the last two years John has been working tirelessly to improve our 12 acre woodland, which forms an important part of the ‘adventure experience’. In November last year, John’s dedication to improving and preserving the landscape was acknowledged by Wirral Globe, where he won the ‘Contribution to the Community’ award at the Golden Globe Awards 2014.

Barnstondale receives Gannett Foundation Grant

As was documented in last weeks Wirral Globe newspaper, Barnstondale is absolutely delighted to be one of the recipients of the Gannett Foundation Grant.

We’re absolutely thrilled to receive a grant of  £5250 to improve pathways and access into our beautiful wooded areas for our disabled visitors. With more than 10% of our 8500+ yearly visitors being disabled, this is a fantastic opportunity to give them much better access to enjoy the facilities.

Heidi Hughes, business director for Barnstondale said: “This money is a fantastic boost to our project and means we can now start work on the pathways, which we intend to do in the new year.”

Thank you to the Gannett Foundation for helping to make this possible.

We’d also like to say an equally big thank you to all the donations and funding we have received in 2012. It has all been very welcome and very much needed as we seek to continually improve the services we can offer to those in need. Thank you to everyone for 2012!