We are excited to announce the creation of a Colne Valley Park Green Team.

Groundwork’s Green Teams are a successful model which prepare local unemployed residents for careers in conservation and horticulture through working a waged 6-month work placement in grounds improvement and maintenance as a pathway into further employment at the end of the programme. At the end of the six months the trainees will have extensive knowledge of using various hand and power tools, an understanding of both how and why we improve habitats, as well as a level one City and Guilds Horticultural qualification.

This new team was made possible by a grant from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund for the Natural Connections Project.

The Colne Valley Green Team in Action

The team consists of young residents, who are being employed and trained, gaining qualifications and valuable experience to kick-start their future careers. Their tasks involve managing a number of local and national nature reserves across the local area. The team will also be getting hands on with invasive species control, removing floating pennywort from the Rive Colne.

Green Team Supervisor Luke Meagher is delighted at the work his team are doing and the skills they have gained so far working with the rangers at Langley Park, maintaining beds, and constructing some natural fencing across Ruislip woods.

As can be seen here: ‘Dead Hedges’ constructed using left over plant material removed from other conservation works.

What is the Natural Connections Project?

Groundwork South and London Borough of Hillingdon were awarded funding from the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund for a project entitled ‘Natural Connections : Colne Valley Park’.

The grant of £190k, is being used to :

  • Set up a Green Team in the Colne Valley Regional Park consisting of young residents, who will be employed and trained, gaining qualifications and valuable experience to kick-start their future careers. They will undertake habitat improvements at Bucks Country Parks, Ruislip Woods, other green spaces and removal of invasive species from rivers.
  • Work with Buckinghamshire Council to Restore and Create Heathland at Black Park.
  • Hillingdon will Employ an Education/Events Officer who will primarily work at  Ruislip Woods but will also do some work at the Denham Woods.

You can see here the team preparing to dig over a bed ready to be planted at Langley Park.

Green team project update, October 2021

At the halfway point in the project and the Green Team has been going strong for six months. In this time we have been skilling up 10 young individuals from the Colne Valley and surrounding areas in the ways of conservation and habitat management. The team has been hard at work delivering over 3000 hours of conservation work on green spaces found throughout the park. Half the team have successfully acquired their City and Guild level 1 Horticulture qualification, with the other half busy working towards theirs.

The Green Team has also been working closely with the rangers at Black Park on the extensive task of connecting the two existing areas of heathland found within the park. The team has spent upward of 200 hours helping clear the connecting area ready for cattle to begin grazing the site to help transform the area into a new area of heathland.

Green team project update, January 2022

We are delighted to announce that we have just started recruiting our third team of trainees.

The second piece of excellent news is that one of our trainees has moved on to full time employment as a full time Grounds Maintenance Operative, he started with Maydencroft on the January 4th.

This is fantastic news, and we are pleased that Harry is now continuing his career with us, having sparked his interest in the industry through the Kickstart opportunity the Groundwork South Green Team at Colne Valley Park provided him with. He is now officially continuing on in the industry with us, and we are all fully behind him and looking forward to seeing how he develops with us.

Just wanted to say a big thanks from all of us here at Maydencroft, and looking forward to meeting the next candidates you may be able to send over for interview, that will hopefully follow in Harry’s footsteps.

Find out more here about the initiation of the project:

Natural Connections Project Gains Grant from Green Recovery Challenge Fund