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A Year (and a bit): First Anniversary for TCV Green Gym in Cassiobury Park, Watford

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A Year (and a bit): First Anniversary for TCV Green Gym in Cassiobury Park, Watford

Heartfelt thanks to all who joined us at the Community Project site in Cassiobury Park for our first anniversary celebration on 2nd September and made it a really enjoyable event. A shortened work session was followed by snacks and cake, as well as a brief ceremony, during which the dedicated work of our volunteers was recognised by elected Watford Mayor, Dorothy Thornhill, by the intu Regional General Manager, Howard Oldstein, and the intu CSR representative, Chantal Boyle, as well as by WBC Community Park Ranger, Debbie Brady. We are happy and grateful to have their support for the ongoing projects to help improve the site in Cassiobury Park for people and wildlife.

Since the Cassiobury Green Gym started in 2014, the weather has been fine during almost all our Wednesday sessions. And despite some horrible downpours during late August, autumn started lucky for us. It became quite warm during the speeches, and the rain held off right until the end, when the remaining volunteers tried their best to finish Rita and Kamala's excellent cake under cover of the gazebos.

During the anniversary session, a group of volunteers, including the welcome intu team, cleared a sizable area off bramble, and guest volunteer, Councillor Eric Bishop, took to scything like a professional despite being weighed down by his gold chain of office. Others weeded the kitchen garden and dug over the second wildflower area, ready for another attempt at seeding (We did mention that wildflowers are fickle and will grow or not grow as they please!). It’s been a productive year; the Cassiobury Green Gym volunteers completed a spacious insect hotel, developed the permaculture (Hugelkultur) kitchen garden and supported work on the orchards, as well as cleared Himalayan Balsam and bamboo in the park’s Nature Reserve.

Recently, Alison Birt, Senior Staff Nurse at the local Peace Hospice, has been to see the raised beds we built for the Hospice patients. She thought they look brilliant and is highly appreciative of the Green Gym team's effort. We look forward to the first crop being planted in them and will continue food growing ourselves, as well as support projects by other community groups, such as the Cassiobury Young Rangers and the Nascot School children. We are planning to plant native hedgerows and wildflower meadows for wildlife, and build stag beetle loggeries and hedgehog dens.