River clean up team rewarded

The River Slea Clean Up Team - winners in Lincolnshire Environmental Awards. EMN-150522-173658001
The River Slea Clean Up Team - winners in Lincolnshire Environmental Awards. EMN-150522-173658001

A group of tidy-minded volunteers have been awarded for their efforts in keeping the town’s river litter-free.

The River Slea Clean Up Group has won the Community Award at the Lincolnshire Environmental Awards run by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.

Pointon school pupils in outdoor gear at the new pond. EMN-150525-140434001

Pointon school pupils in outdoor gear at the new pond. EMN-150525-140434001

The awards celebrate the Lincolnshire businesses and organisations working to improve the environment with winners announced on Thursday at the Bentley Hotel, Lincoln. Renowned environmentalist Professor David Bellamy chaired the judging panel and was at the awards.

After the River Slea became clogged up with rubbish, people got together via Facebook to create the River Slea Clean Up Group, removing 500kg of man-made rubbish from the river in 18 months.

Group founder Andy Greenwood said: “It is a very proud moment for me and the group to receive an award of this stature. It is great recognition for the committed volunteers that turn up to help make the river a better place for wildlife and the people of Sleaford.”

He thanked the Rivercare project team and Anglian Water for their support. The next clean up is on Sunday at 10am meeting behind the NCCD.

A Highly Commended certificate in the Young Environmentalist category went to St Gilbert of Sempringham Primary School at Pointon for the re-landscaping of its field into an outdoor learning environment called The Lost Garden of the Gilbertines.

Head teacher Emma Hunt was very proud. Only completed a couple of weeks ago, the project is the first such outdoor learning environment of its kind. The area creates opportunities for conservation, exploration and physical development of children donning all-weather gear and fleeces to embrace the ‘forest school’ ethos of outdoor learning under guidance of their forest school teacher.

Mrs Hunt said: “Elysian Fields, which is our nature reserve and houses The Lost Princess Prairie and our pond Bert’s Boggy Hole, have already attracted frogspawn, newts and fish without us introducing them.”

There are designated areas for exercise and a reflective area for science and project work called Curiosity Cavern. Planted areas will grow and mature into Foraging Forest to support science, forest schools, exploration and environmental change.

A Sport England grant of £30,000 will help redevelop the playground into an outdoor, soft surface sports area called ‘Perseverance Park’ tied into a unique whole school approach to physical literacy, linked to ‘Gil and Bert’s Learning Journey’ - a guide to academic success at the school - all to be unveiled on July 18.