The Partnership works with individuals, schools, community groups and businesses to deliver environmental projects and schemes created by the community, for the community. This involves advising groups of funding opportunities, helping with ideas for conservation projects or giving practical help to get schemes underway.
The partnership also works pro-actively by, for example, identifying projects or groups needing funding and then locating grants. These may be large-scale habitat improvements schemes, valley-wide footpath improvements or small, localised schemes building on projects already taking place.
We bring different sectors of the community together to work on projects such as anti-litter days. Schools, groups and businesses in target areas co-operate in organised clean ups. This is particularly important in getting the anti-litter message across to young people and enhances the image of local schools. It is also an easy way for businesses to put sponsorship and volunteer work into addressing the issues of their local area.
Examples of working partnerships
The Friends of the Carrs is a community group dedicated to improving the recreation site, the Carrs, in Wilmslow and have been working partners for a number of years. Recent successes have been the construction of a footpath/bridleway all through the park, creation of wildflower areas and habitat restoration and river bank protection. The Partnership has, when necessary, applied for grants to complete the work, offered technical and practical assistance and in many cases project managed the schemes.
The Friends of Bowdon/Bollin are another very keen community group whose focus is a section of land adjoining the River Bollin in Bowdon.
They are a very practical group who have taken on the mighty Giant Hogweed problem and brought the alien to its knees! The photo below shows volunteers severing the roots of Giant Hogweed. Bollin Valley Partnership helped them apply for funding to renew a footpath in the area, obtain equipment for their alien control, plus organise and volunteer on balsam bashes in the summer.
We like to involve young people in all the work that we do, running projects with schools as and when opportunities arise. For example, we have been working for over a decade on our Non-native Invasive species project trying to rid the Bollin of alien plant species. We try and get as many different groups involved with this and amongst the community groups, local businesses and friends of groups, schools have been helping us by pulling up Himalayan Balsam, an easy to recognise pest with shallow roots making it ideal to tackle with armies of school children.