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Environmental Issues

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We are eager to bring local stakeholders and residents together to create a bigger, better, and more joined up habitats and support nature.

Green Skills Projects provide an opportunity for individuals to achieve a City and Guilds qualification in practical horticulture and gain career advice and support whilst improving the levels of biodiversity at Hinchingbrooke Country Park. The project works with adults over the age of 19, 3 days a week for 8 weeks.

To achieve these goals, our partners at the GroundWork team, Jacob, and Eve, work with local volunteers who are looking to develop their personal and practical skills.





The benefits of supporting green skills are enormous. The Green Skills Project helps to tackle the biodiversity crisis and facilitates green jobs. Furthermore, it creates opportunities for young people, marginalised groups or those in less wealthy areas whilst contributing positively to the community.

Join the next Green Recovery Project at Paxton Pits Nature Reserve

Do you want to help improve your local green space, work on your mental health or achieve a City & Guilds Level 1 Award in Practical Horticulture?

  • Start date: 17 January 2024

  • 10am - 3pm, 3 days a week for 8 weeks (age 19+)

  • Personal protective equipment provided

  • Gain careers advice and support

  • Engage with nature and increase your conservation knowledge

  • Improve your confidence, motivation and wellbeing

Interested in finding out more?

Previous projects

Hinchingbrooke Country Park, Huntingdon

The project

  • To build a new invertebrate mound on the edge of the lake to improve the habitat and encourage wider biodiversity of invertebrates

  • Provide a potential nesting site for kingfishers

  • Construction of bird and bat boxes

  • Picnic table refurbishment

  • Increasing biodiversity of invertebrates and encouraging kingfishers to nest on site by creating a new habitat with different organic materials.

The outcomes

A very successful project with a dedicated team of participants who have made a difference to the available habitat for invertebrates and nesting site for kingfishers at Hinchingbrooke Country Park. This, in turn, will increase the biodiversity of different invertebrate species including solitary bees and a variety of beetles.

There was lots of learning about our natural world, climate change, practical horticulture and biodiversity and conservation alongside developing personal skills and skills for progression.
The Project Officer for Groundwork East ran 3 drop-in sessions to engage the local community, building more bird and bat boxes for the park.  The Senior Project Officer for Groundwork East engaged families over 3 sessions in April and in May at the site, helping families with young children to engage with outdoor play and enjoy being outside in our local green spaces.

Volunteer feedback

"This has been the best time of my life and the best working experience I have ever been part of."


Spring Common

The project

  • Rejuvenating an ancient pond site in Huntingdon, opening up the area for a far greater variety of wildlife increasing the biodiversity exponentially

  • Creation of a large, structured habitat pile which will provide a perfect habitat for a huge array of invertebrates

  • Stag beetle homes and a litter pick also took place to provide a specific habitat and to clean existing ones of harmful chemicals and materials.

The outcomes

The pond before the project was a very limited habitat. The scrub was too thick for most bird species to utilise, and the pond was too crowded, allowing minimal activity. The project, in the short term, has opened the area allowing for more access and letting in more light, producing a wider variety of biodiversity. In the long term, phase two of the project is to dredge the pond of excess silt. Once this is done, the improved condition of the pond will improve biodiversity across Spring Common extensively.

The habitat piles are a secondary habitat created from the project. This is an invaluable habitat for various invertebrates due to the layering and different rates of decomposition.

Two volunteers also gained employment whilst on the course.

The project officer from Groundwork East ran sessions over the summer to engage the local community, through wild play sessions with families, and adult engagement sessions performing a variety of nature and practical related activities.

Volunteer feedback

"It's amazing, fun, makes you feel good"

"A good experience, hope to improve on it in the future"


Riverside St Neots

The project

The primary objective of the project was to create a pocket habitat around an existing area of standing deadwood that would otherwise have to be felled for public safety reasons. Standing deadwood is an incredibly important habitat that we want to protect

The team created a green treated timber fence around the standing deadwood. The fence was placed at sufficient distance to ensure that if the tree were to fall, it would do so within the fenced area. The team refrained from using cement and other environmentally harmful materials as part of this process.

The second part of the project was planting a variety of native trees both inside the fenced area and adjacent to the miniature railway in Riverside Park. Trees included hawthorn, elder, wild cherry, crab apple and hazel trees. The understorey was planted with native shrubs and bulbs contributing to the overall biodiversity.

The outcomes

The fence was constructed to the stop the public from getting too close to the standing deadwood to ensure that it does not pose a threat to safety. Without this protective barrier, the deadwood would have to be removed.  However, it is an important habitat for a diverse array of species.

Thousands of invertebrates depend on deadwood for both sustenance and shelter, forming and important part of the ecosystem for various species including bats and birds. It also supports a variety of fungi, lichens and moss.

The project has successfully led to the planting of 23 trees, 54 shrubs and 250 bulbs. These species will enhance biodiversity. The significance of trees goes beyond improving the "look" of an area. On a larger scale they play a crucial role in reducing atmospheric carbon levels, therefore helping to reduce climate change.

The pocket habitat will expand the ecological range, ensuring that the space can accommodate a much broader range of biodiversity.