Green Days started with a Health and Wellbeing Project visiting various beauty spots on the Quantock Hills. We took photos and wrote poetry about the experience taking in what we saw and how we felt. This, Reading the Landscape Project allowed us to work with the team on the Quantock Hills to explore and observe parts of this protected landscape. We went out exploring, taking photos, writing poetry and really ‘taking notice’ of the diverse natural environments around us, participants reported feeling calm, relaxed and also that they learnt a lot together. The Quantock Rangers also invited us to work with them cleaning bird boxes, removing plastic sleeves from saplings, lighting fires and even toasting marshmallows on the open fire.
Added outcome we created a Green Days Calendar 2018 – Twelve photos representing the months of the year were chosen from those taken and relevant quotes from the poetry added.
On the Blackdown Hills however, we took more of a practical approach andhave done hands on clearing brambles uncovering steps of former gardens on the estate at Otterhead. Here we used hand tools under the watchful eye of Sam, who guided us with health and safety rules and is also an expert on the local flora and fauna. On alternate months we did an Accessibility Project reporting on the state of footpaths, gates, styles, car-parking facilities, noticeboards etc. at local beauty spots on the Blackdown hills. This was then published on the AONB website. We continue to work with these teams twice a month on both the Blackdown and Quantock Hills.
Somerset Wildlife Trust, lead sessions with us on more local green areas, like Longrun Meadow, The Taunton and Bridgwater Canal, and Netherclay Nature Reserve. We have made bird boxes, bird watched, seen millions of dragonflies and pond dipped on the levels. Olivia makes our monthly sessions fascinating and we learn so much about our local wildlife through the seasons.
Such valuable working partnerships learning and working, conserving our beautiful Somerset Countryside!