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Groundforce Celebrate 500th task

Published Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Enfield’s very own green fingered volunteers ‘Groundforce Countryside Conservation Volunteers’ had their 20th anniversary this year, having been formed in May 1990 by the Green Belt Ranger.

Their first task back then was fencing a meadow in Fir and Pond Woods Nature Reserve, to introduce Shetland ponies to graze.  Since then the merry band of volunteers have been kept constantly busy with such varied activities such as hedgelaying to fencing, pond clearance to rhododendron "bashing", amongst other tasks. 

The dedicated band of volunteers venture out rain or shine, on alternate Wednesdays to enjoy a bit of physical activity, carrying out practical conservation tasks in the parks and open spaces in Enfield and the Green Belt, co-ordinated and led by Enfield Council's Parks Outreach Team.

Groundforce celebrated their 500th task on Wednesday 9th June, by carrying out some footpath maintenance on a permissive path from Trent Country Park to Ferny Hill, followed by a celebratory lunch. 

Past volunteers joined the current group, along with some of the recipients of their hard work.  Deputy Mayor Christiana During, gave a short speech, thanking the volunteers for the role they played in looking after the parks and open spaces of Enfield, including the Council-owned farms, whose tenants had been invited to the celebration.

David Gompertz Warden at Fir & Pond Woods where the first task took place said: "I want to thank Groudforce for the great work you have done at Fir and Pond Woods Nature reserve over the last 20 years. I would also like to thank them on behalf of Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, and for those who use and love Fir & Pond and certainly myself.

"As I was walking around today, I was checking off Groundforce projects one by one. Starting with the front gate, then the kissing gates, then the meadow you fenced 20 years ago.

"More recently you fenced the meadow extension, built a new overflow dam, cleared bulrushes - and I have not forgotten the rhododendrons.

"I always look forward to having Groundforce on site... we owe you a lot"

Cllr Chris Bond, Cabinet Member Environment Street Scene & Parks said "The work that Groundforce have done over the years is very highly regarded by many local groups who have benefitted from it.

"Thanks to these dedicated volunteers venturing out in all weathers to cut back overgrown vegetation, repair broken fencing and plant much needed greenery, Enfield is a much more pleasant place to live.

"I look forward to their next 500 tasks!"

To find out more about Groundforce call Christina Lee on 020 8449 2459 or e-mail christina.lee@enfield.gov.uk

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