It has been an amazing season at the Camden Green Gym with late summer lingering well into November, when we celebrated our sixth anniversary at an enjoyable post-session picnic in the dappled shade of Regent´s Park Leafyard Wood. We then spent two of many gloriously bright days restoring acid grasslands on Primrose Hill with the stunning cityscape as a backdrop. A fantastic celebration of all the work the volunteers of the Green Gym have achieved.
Regular Volunteer Clive reflects on his time with the Camden Green Gym:
“I have been volunteering at the Camden branch of the Green Gym for 18 months and it has had a great effect on my general health as well as being great fun. Tasks vary from building steps, coppicing branches clearing scrubland including weeds and cutting down invasive species like brambles, path building, planting seeds, building insect hotels to litter picking.
Once I filled in the form at my first Green Gym session I was then able to attend as many sessions as I liked without having to inform the group leader if I was going to attend a session or not. I have found this means you get different people attending different sessions each time. This makes it interesting as you can be working with a whole range of different people. Some people prefer to do only one day a week whereas others come and go as they can together with the regulars. I have found the Green Gym to have a laid back atmosphere with most people being friendly so it is good to attend to socialise as well as work. The Camden Green Gym sessions also typically change venue after each session within the local area of the particular Green Gym.”
The Camden Green Gym tended many of its established green spaces this autumn, as well as a couple of new sites urgently in need of TLC. The most rewarding of these so far has been the Kilburn Grange Nature Reserve, where we have started to ready the enclosed space for use by the next generation of conservationists: pupils at Kingsgate Primary School. Within the period of a single session we made the neglected overgrown area accessible as a charming nature reserve of open shrubs, log habitats and inviting woodchip paths with log edging. There is still much more to do in the new year – the pond needs restoring and we are planning a wildflower meadow as well as wildlife habitats – but it has been a great initial transformation into an all-weather space that both teachers and children will hopefully be inspired to use to the full.
This January sees the departure of Laurence, Camden Green Gym Project Officer. She has passionately lead the group to improve sites throughout Camden and will be sorely missed.
Message from Laurence:
“This week will be my last with TCV and the Camden Green Gym. I would love to thank every single one of you who have made my experience over the last five years so fabulous. Special thanks to our regular volunteers and to the leaders and key volunteers who have put in so much extra effort to make sure we can promote and deliver sessions all year round. Thanks as well to our partners without whose support we wouldn’t be able to do all this wonderful improvements in Camden’s green spaces. I would love to see you all before I go, Tuesday or Thursday. There will be a little celebration on Thu 15th. Please join me if you can! Warm wishes, Laurence.”