Parks bloom with volunteers

More than 15 local residents joined with volunteers from a special needs group to help restore natural landscapes in Pitshanger Park this week.

Cllr Mahfouz with volunteers in Pitshanger Park

The group spent Tuesday planting seeds and bulbs, removing weeds and picking up litter as part of a joint project between Ealing Council’s park rangers and waterways charity, Thames 21.

Funded by the Big Lottery Fund, the event was the latest in a number of community clean-up days which have taken place in Ealing over the past two years. During this time, more than 750 volunteers have offered their time, with a further 400 expected to take part in the coming year. The ongoing project has seen at least 100 tonnes of rubbish removed from Brent River and helped to recreate natural environments for fish and birds nesting in or near the river.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, Ealing’s cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “A huge amount of work has gone into restoring the health and beauty of some of the borough’s parks and waterways over the past two years, and I thank everyone who has been involved.

“Our parks are beautiful spaces to enjoy and relax in, and it is great when everyone comes together to ensure they stay that way. Events like these are particularly rewarding because people can see the difference they have made both personally and collectively.”

Judith Ressler, Thames 21’s west London project coordinator, said: “These events are so important for local communities. They bring people together and by the end of the day everyone can see that they’ve really achieved something.

“We offer volunteering opportunities for people of all ages and abilities, and particularly try to encourage people to get involved who wouldn’t normally volunteer. It’s also a great way to learn about nature and wildlife while getting your hands dirty.”

Groups, individuals, businesses, charities and residents are all welcome to take part in clean-up days, with all events aiming to cater for different needs and abilities. For more information, please contact Judith Ressler on judith.ressler@thames21.org.ukor 07500 842 283.