Posted: Tuesday 21st March 2017
Volunteers completed the first phase of work to enhance Victoria Playing Field in St Albans this week. This marks the beginning of a larger project, which will bring big changes to a much-loved local greenspace.
A team of volunteers from Hertfordshire County Council’s Countryside Management Service (CMS), alongside corporate volunteers from Mace Group, planted a new native hedgerow. The shrubs, like hawthorn, hazel and guelder rose, will brighten up the boundary and provide food for local wildlife in the years to come.
Earlier in the month CMS also arranged a successful bulb planting event with local families helping to plant more than 5,000 bulbs in a day.
The work was planned through the new Greenspace Action Plan for the site, developed by CMS on behalf of owners St Albans City & District Council. This plan has enabled different parts of the community to work together in partnership for the benefit of the playing field.
The improvements made this November are a taster of the main project next year, when the play area will be replaced and upgraded.
This work is supported by the district council using developer contributions and funding from local ward budgets. It has been backed by a successful crowd funding campaign led by a local community group – the Friends of Victoria Playing Field. This campaign raised £26,000 from local people and businesses, which will go towards the work.
Teresa Heritage, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Localism and Libraries, said: “This is a fantastic example of a community contributing their time, skills and enthusiasm to help enhance their local area. I’d like to thank CMS for its valuable role in coordinating and supporting the voluntary groups involved. In the Hertfordshire Year of Volunteering, it’s great to see what a difference volunteers can make.”
Cllr Alun Davies, Chair of the City Neighbourhoods Committee for St Albans City and District Council, said: “I want to thank all the volunteers for giving up their time to help improve the Victoria Playing Field under the guidance of the Countryside Management Service. This is just the start of a wider improvement project for this much-loved green space.”
This year is the Hertfordshire Year of Volunteering and there are currently thousands of the county’s residents who give up their time to make a difference in their community. To find out about opportunities available, search www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/volunteering for information or keep up to date on social media by searching for #hertsyov