Falconwood in Thurrock had sadly become a prime spot for fly tipping and vandalism, meaning that this was not a space the community could use in safety.
After being asked to help by the Council, Mears volunteered to participate in the project to bring this site back to life working with The Riverside Community Big Local.
Having reviewed the site, we drew up a list of immediate tasks and ask volunteers for help. This included installing new metal security gates to front/rear entrance to protect the wood against vandalism and also rebuilding vandalised brick work piers.
The team were then able to remove overgrown shrubs and weeds to enable us to proceed & install permanent pathways so everyone can use the woodland. At the end of the clearing we removed over 15 tonnes of waste including washing machines and mattresses.
Susan Murray, Asset Investment & Delivery Manager from Thurrock Council commented:
"This was a great project to participate in with our local residents and partnering contractor Mears, the work everyone achieved will be a great asset for everyone in the community to be able to enjoy."
Andy Blakey, Chairperson from Riverside Community Big Local commented
"Falconwood was one of the very first projects that residents identified for the Riverside Community Big Local - it’s an area that has caused problems for many, many years.
"For far too long it has been a waste ground,overgrown and prone to fly tipping. We really want to transform it into an attractive and inviting space that is a real asset for the local community.
"Everyone at the Riverside Community Big Localis immensely grateful to Mears for partnering with us to help make our ambition for Falconwood a reality.
"The help and support that Gary Luscombe, and his colleagues from Mears, have given has been amazing and - although there is still a long way to go - they have helped make the transformation of Falconwood a reality.”
Gary Luscombe, General Manager of Mears said:
“When Thurrock asked us to pitch in and help, we said yes immediately. I think we’ve all been reminded over the last year of the importance of green space and having places where we can all appreciate nature. Sadly, Falconwood was not in good shape.
When we put out the call for help, we had so many members of the community volunteer that we actually had to turn people away. It really is a fantastic example of how, when called upon,the people of Thurrock truly come together for the benefit of everyone.
Now the woodland has been restored, Riverside Community Big Local have ambitious plans for the rest of the year. Having asked residents what they would like to see next, ideas include:
- Installation of benches –Purpose made for waste Wood and salvaged timber
- Installation of Path –access for wheelchair / pushchair through the woods
- Mass bulb planting throughout the land / Communal composting
- Bat boxes, Bird boxes, Bird boxes to be installed
- Beehives & Raised beds to grow vegetables,
- Chain saw carvings,
- information boards and a notice board at the front of the site
- Site history walk through story Board & Signage
- Low level lighting for the path (Solar)
- Pop up Park –Kiddies play areas
- Natures Pond Life
Gary Luscombe added:
“Without the volunteers and donations, we could not have achieved what we have. It’s been a real pleasure to work with the Council and The Riverside Community Big Local project. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped – this really is a space for the community.”
Both Thurrock Council and Mears would like to thank the following people and organisations for so kindly donating their time and effort:
Volunteers: Harjit Birdi (Mears), Sophie Young(Thurrock), Susan Murray (Thurrock ), Richard Fletcher (Mears), Zehra Engin(Mears), Neal Lewis (Mears), Dwayne (PMC), Jarod (PMC) Andrew Rand (Mears),Darren Brunning (Mears), Steve Catchpole. Rob Murray (Resident) Andy Blakey (Riverside community Big Local), Guve Sehmbi(Riverside community Big Local) Caro lCockcroft (Resident), John Cockcroft (Resident), Kenny Oye (Thurrock), Susan Cardozo (Thurrock), Peter Doherty (Thurrock), John Kent (Riverside coming BigLocal)
Suppliers donated their time and or materials and included :Reconomy, Buildbase, PMC Construction, RNB Engineering, Fleetwood, REM Digger Hire & Groundworks
Donations from across the community included: Shovels, Gloves, Forks & Rakes, Metal work repairs, Brickwork reinstatement, Mini Digger, Dumper Trucks, Grab Lorry, H/D Bags, Tonne Bags, Type 1 Aggregates and 10-yard Skips.
This article has been featured in Local Authority Building & Maintenance Magazine