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A VOLUNTEER group who look after Melksham’s mini country park, Shurnhold Fields, is now thriving, thanks to new members who have stepped forward to help.
Last month, the group was considering disbanding after four years, due to low numbers. However, their volunteer numbers have now doubled, from seven to 14 people, thanks to new volunteers coming forward.
The Friends of Shurnhold Field maintain the site of the former George Ward school playing fields in Dunch Lane, Melksham. The group is responsible for cutting the grass, planting trees and bulbs and clearing ditches.
The group had previously said that several volunteers were now unable to carry out hard physical work due to their age.
After several unsuccessful attempts at recruiting new volunteers, the Friends announced that they would wind up the group at their annual general meeting on 25th October. They were preparing to hand over their responsibilities to the town and parish councils.
Now, following one final social media campaign from the councils and coverage in the Melksham Independent News, the secretary of the group, Paul Carter, reported that people had come forward to sign up to volunteer.
Paul said, “We are very, very pleased that so many people from the Melksham communities have stepped forward to help keep us going. We no longer have to hand the work over to the councils. Thank you to the people of Melksham!”
With more members, the team can continue to focus on their winter project of replacing the trees in the tree nursery which died during the hot summer.
Speaking about future plans during the next year, Paul explained, “Our plan after the winter project will now be to maintain the field, we are also waiting for a car park to open at the front entrance that is big enough for about 12 cars. We are also waiting for a shed to be able to store all of our equipment because currently this is in one of the volunteer’s garages!
“We managed to do the main jobs over the years, now it’s about maintaining the area and that is something we were going to be unable to do, as these were things that our existing members are no longer able to manage.
“The more active members can now take on the more physical side of things. Thank you again to the Melksham communities!”
For more information about the Friends group, or to enquire about volunteering roles ring Paul Carter on 07594 472247.