TCV tell us that right now, one third of the UK's green places are in danger of being lost or degraded? And they’re on a mission to safeguard and improve theses spaces – that’s your local parks, school grounds, river banks and community areas.
So far, this brilliant organisation has helped hundreds of thousands of people each year to reclaim local green spaces. Through their own environmental projects and through a network of over 2,000 community groups, TCV put people back in the driving seat, taking responsibility for their own local environments right across the UK.
Everyday green lungs where nature still thrives – the spaces we use and enjoy day-to-day – are vulnerable. An estimated 10,000 playing fields were sold off between 1979 and 1997.
Places like these don’t have any kind of special protection – and the bad news is that they’re all under threat right now.
Why? Because local councils are having to do more with less – which means cutting budgets for ‘non-essentials’ like caring for green spaces.
The Conservation Volunteers believe that neglecting green spaces is a false economy. And we agree with them – it doesn't take long for a once-much-loved park, or other open space to change. By neglecting our green spaces, we risk letting them become magnets for anti-social behaviour and a cost to society. So spending a little on safeguarding,
protecting and looking after these places now, might save our stretched councils much-needed ££££s in the longer term.
One of the great things about TCV is how they give green spaces new purposes whilst making people feel brilliant. An unloved wild spot – home to crisp packets and antisocial behaviour – transforms into a Green Gym. That’s a fun, free, outdoor exercise session doing things like planting trees, sowing meadows and establishing wildlife ponds which can burn even more calories than your average aerobics class. And once a space feels loved and safe again, families, joggers, cyclists and dog walkers flock back, spreading the positive ripples right out into the community.
“I volunteer with TCV because it just seemed such a brilliant idea: get fit; be sociable; do good for the countryside; learn new skills; have fun - all in one.”
All it takes is a little investment from businesses like us, and volunteers from the local community – that’s people like you. And whether that means getting fit, getting skilled to get back into the workplace, or making friends, volunteers get a great deal in return. In fact, it TCV is such a success because it’s about getting back as you give – getting out of doors, making new friends, and feeling great about it.
I Dig Trees, and the work of the TCV in general, is about much more than just caring for nature. A looked-after green space is not only a ‘home for wild things’; it’s an asset to local communities and an impactful project for local volunteers. And that’s what I Dig Trees is all about: creating places that act as playgrounds for all ages; green sanctuaries; and exercise spaces.
“It's fun, the people are great and I get good exercise, fresh air and learn a lot. It gives me a sense of achievement and pride.”
So why not get out there this weekend – find out more at tcv.org.uk.