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Simons Group volunteers to help create new 'Pocket Park' with The Conservation Volunteers

Twenty two volunteers at Simons have helped to create a Pocket Park on the edge of a community woodland in Gainsborough, North Lincolnshire. Managed by the Mercer Woods Community Group and The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), the new landscaped park incorporates benches made from recycled plastic framing six wildflower ‘scrapes’, along with hundreds of trees and bulbs and a greatly needed clean-up of the area.

Historically Mercer Woods is an area of semi-derelict land left following the demolition in the nineteen thirties of a Victorian oil and cake mill. The land has been left undeveloped and was considered locally as an unsafe area, attracting fly-tipping, anti-social behaviour and drug-abuse.

The Mercer Woods Community Group was established in 2004, aiming to tackle the anti-social behaviour issues through community management of the area. The vision was to enhance both local biodiversity and the enjoyment of the people living nearby. The group has made great progress in cleaning up the woodland and given it a ‘cared for’ appearance, which made way for the Pocket Park to be created. This work has resulted in increased use of the woods by local residents and a much more positive view of the woods.

Rosi Fieldson, Sustainability Manager at Simons said of the project, “It’s been really good for our teams to interact with each other; there have been people here today that wouldn’t normally come across each other in their day to day work, so that’s great for team and confidence building. It’s great to be able to give something back to our home county of Lincolnshire and we will be able to highlight this to other employees that might want to stay involved and help out in the future. Days like this demonstrate that when we say we’re going to do something, we genuinely do follow through on that promise, which helps us, individually, to be proud of being part of a business that is like that and as a business, it helps people to trust us, to believe that we will do what we say we are going to do. I think everyone is going to go home with a great sense of achievement knowing that we’ve done something to help here.“

Alex Hewins, East Midlands Operations Manager at The Conservation Volunteers added, “We started out working with the community group to create a Pocket Park and it started as very much an exercise on paper so it’s great to see it come to life. Simons Group have come along and it’s all been achieved in one day. It’s something we don’t normally achieve with our regular groups as we don’t usually get these sorts of numbers all in one hit. The enthusiasm that people bring to these days out from their normal working week means that we can get so much done, so it benefits TCV and the local community and it’s a great job!“

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