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
BEACON In different section? Friends of the Carrs, a community group dedicated to improving the recreation site, the Carrs in Wilmslow 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 a wildflower area and habitat restoration in the form of invasive species removal and river bank protection. The Partnership has all on these occasions applied for grants to complete the work, offered technical and practical assistance and in many cases project managed the schemes.
Friends of Bowdon/Bollin are another very keen community group whose focus is a section of land adjoining the River Bollin in Bowdon.
These 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 the young people in each local area in all the work that we do and we run 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.
Volunteering is an important aspect of our work at the Partnership. We support work experience students during placements, we encourage long term volunteers to work with our rangers or corporate groups looking for team building days. Volunteers are particularly valued to help with specific conservation projects such as our invasive species project. Alongside BEACON (link) we encourage corporate or other groups of individuals to help us control the spread of invasive plant species within the catchment by hosting ‘Balsam bashing days’. See our events programme for events where you can volunteer or contact us to arrange a work placement or regular volunteering.
Bollin Valley Countryside Taster Day
Each year in the summer, we organise an activity day for people with disabilities. Hundreds of people enjoy a day filled with activities to give them a little ‘taste’ of what’s available in the area. We have a rock climbing tower, archery, horse riding, crafts, farm animals, sculpture and lots more to tempt people out of their comfort zone and into the countryside.
The main aim of the day is to give disabled people the opportunity to try out all the different activities in a safe environment. If they have the confidence to go out in their local area and join in on a general event then we have done our job!
We rely on volunteers to run the day, with over 50 people running activities, organising crafts or generally helping out. Year after year, people give up their precious time for such a worthy cause.
We have been running our annual countryside taster day for people with disabilities for over 25 years. With grants from organisations, sponsorship from local companies and the goodwill of our volunteers, we will carry on for the next 25 if funding permits.