Growing Communities by planting trees at Gloucester Services

Two hundred saplings of native trees were planted at Gloucester Services northbound site this week (Feb 1) by volunteers – including Services staff and local residents.

They join nearly 1,000 trees native to the UK, traditional Gloucestershire fruit trees, hedgerows, a wildflower meadow and orchard which were planted on the site last year, as part of the Gloucestershire Gateway Trust’s Growing Communities project.

Mark Gale from the Gateway Trust, which works in partnership with Gloucester Services, said: “Since the northbound services opened, local volunteers led by Paul Stepney and Clark Clevely have been working hard to transform the four acres of very exposed landscape by creating a wildlife haven as well as a productive orchard. The trees and hedgerows will act as wind breaks, attract and shelter wildlife and create a wildlife corridor – buzzards and even peregrine falcons have been spotted on the land.

“Eventually, the orchard fruits will be harvested for produce to be used in the Services kitchens for seasonal signature dishes to raise funds for our local communities. Working outdoors, planting and nurturing is proving to be great, practical experience for many local unemployed people who learn skills and knowledge as well as team-working, helping them to find jobs as a result.

“The Growing Communities project, which is part-funded by Grundon, gives people fantastic opportunities to learn these skills. Now, 200 more trees will be taking root on the site thanks to volunteers from Matson and Robinswood Residents Group and Matson Gateway, The Conservation Volunteers, Gloucester Services staff, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and GL Communities ‘Dig Deep’ project.”

Tree planting on M5 Gloucester Services Volunteers dig deep to plant trees

Green-fingered locals urged to ‘bring and share’ their fruit and veg

Matson and Robinswood Residents Group has launched a new community project called Lettuce Begin inviting local people to share any unwanted home-grown fruit and veg.

The Residents Group will create a collection point at the Matson Gateway in Matson Avenue, hoping the project will encourage affordable healthy eating among local residents.

Sandy Brammer said: “We know there are lots of local people who grow more produce than they can use themselves, so this is a great opportunity to stop it going to waste, and encouraging others to taste home-grown fruit and veg.”

Sandy added: “The Lettuce Begin project starts sprouting now so that in 2017 when it comes to fruition, we can share local produce with local residents on a ‘no cost’ or ‘give what you can’ basis. At the launch we shared lots of free seeds with gardeners and allotment holders. Every time a local resident donates fruit or veg, we will give them a free cup of tea or coffee.”

Funding for the project came from the Gloucestershire Gateway Trust through donations made by visitors to Gloucester Services and local Councillor Kate Haigh. Cllr Haigh said: “This is a great initiative by local residents taking action to improve the quality of life by making local fruit and veg available to everyone, regardless of their income.”

For further info contact Sandy Brammer on 07808 028 629 or Mark Gale on 07970 694 521

Nov 28 2016

Matson, Robinswood and White City Community Economic Plan backed by Bishop

A community economic strategy for Matson, Robinswood and White City was launched at Gloucester Services, with the Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Rev Rachel Treweek, praising the plan's co-operative approach.

The ‘Power of 3’ plan is the result of a major consultation in the local communities involving community organisations and residents, and highlights the following issues:

  • The area’s reputation
  • Local leadership
  • Childcare and education provision
  • Improving local transport
  • Linking housing development to local needs and employment opportunities

Now the priorities are agreed, the next step is to build new strategic partnerships and find solutions to the issues raised.

Read more in this full report in The Citizen 23/10/16

Power of 3 launch oct 16

(left to right) Iain Riddell (Together In Matson), Sandy Brammer (Matson & Robinswood Residents Group), the Bishop of Gloucester Right Rev Rachel Treweek, Dawn Adams (the Venture White City) and Sue Cunningham (GL Communities).