Through the work of TCV, green spaces are created, protected and improved, for nature and for people
TCV delivers practical volunteering programmes, providing people with everything they need to play an active role in creating, protecting and improving green spaces.
TCV works on a wide range of wildlife habitats including woodlands, hedgerows, grassland, waterways and wetlands.
TCV plants trees, from single specimens to new woodlands and hedgerows, providing homes for wildlife and improving climate and air quality.
TCV provides access improvements and on-site interpretation that balances the needs of nature and people, from boardwalks and dipping platforms to fences and footpaths.
The management of green spaces is at the heart our work. Whether transforming them into a place for communities to enjoy or managing them to allow wildlife and flora to flourish, TCV understands the importance of the natural environment and the role it plays in all of our lives.
However, across the UK these green spaces are reducing, which is why TCV’s work is so important. Our ability to mobilise and support volunteers ensures that these precious areas of woodland, rural meadows, urban parks and community green spaces are protected for future generations to enjoy.
Protecting green spaces
Many of the UK’s green spaces are under increased pressure due to local regeneration and it is in these places that TCV’s work is even more critical to ensure communities have access to safe areas to enjoy nature, connect as a community and just have fun.
Stave Hill in Southwark, London is one example of this. Stave Hill Ecological Park is managed by TCV as a nature reserve, educational facility, research area and place of recreation.
The Park has been designed to form a mosaic of grassland, woodland, scrub and wetland habitats which support a wide variety of wildlife. The Park is managed to conserve the wildlife, which colonised the area during the years the docks lay derelict and now provides a haven for some of the original species.
Working in Partnership
OVO I Dig Trees - large scale tree planting programme
The UK is one of the least wooded countries in Europe with trees and woodland disappearing every day and yet trees offer so many benefits to the environment, resident wildlife and the communities who enjoy them.
This is why TCV’s partnership with OVO Energy is so important. This partnership has seen over 400,000 native trees planted across the UK by thousands of volunteers, community groups and staff. The ‘I Dig Trees’ programme provides free tree packs for community groups to plant in their local green space and also opportunities for people to volunteer at organised tree planting events.
Land Trust – community land management
The Conservation Volunteers works in partnership with The Land Trust to manage some of their key sites in England. Together we have created a vibrant array of landscapes and habitats for the local communities to enjoy, including wetlands, woods, heaths, meadows and parkland.
Seven of these important green spaces are in South Yorkshire and have been created over 20 years, through the reclamation and landscaping of former coal mining sites. The sites have been transformed to create a vibrant natural environment which supports a wide range of wildlife.
Together our vision is to make the most of these green spaces and everything they have to offer by engaging individuals and organisations to maximise the environmental and community benefits.
NatureScot – returning habitats to favourable conditions
TCV Scotland and NatureScot have been working in partnership for over 10 years – improving important habitats and green spaces in line with NatureScot’s ‘Site Condition Monitoring’ programme.
TCV Scotland’s work has concentrated on Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) – removing non-native invasive plants and trees. TCV is proud to have been part of a project that, by March 2016, had returned 80.4% of the area’s natural features to a favourable or recovering condition.
Since 2004 our volunteers have worked on a priority SSSI at Balmaha, close to Loch Lomond, removing non-native invasive plants. Continued monitoring of the site has shown the impact of our work – removing 94% of all Himalayan Balsam – and dramatically improving the biodiversity of this important feeding ground for Ospreys and habitat for rare butterflies.
TCV has also been working on the River Fleet near Golspie for over 3 years. The River Fleet feeds into Loch Fleet a National Nature Reserve and SSSI. Loch Fleet is a tidal basin which supports internationally important numbers of waders and wildfowl and TCV volunteers have been stopping the spread of non-native invasive species from encroaching on this unique habitat.
UK’s vital green spaces are at risk
Right now, a third of the UK’s green places are in danger of being lost or degraded. And it’s the spaces that communities use every day that are most at risk.
The local playing field, the small oasis of urban woodland, the nearby allotment – these are the community green spaces, with no special protection, that risk being lost in the face of budget pressures and restrictions.
It doesn’t take long for a once-loved open space to become neglected, overgrown and unused – even turning into a magnet for vandalism, crime and anti-social behaviour. TCV has been working for almost 60 years to ensure these outdoor spaces are still at the heart of communities by supporting people to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to take ownership of their places.
If you would like TCV and our volunteers to work with you to help protect or manage your local green space please contact us.