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Action stations as volunteeers descend on nature reserve

PUBLISHED: 12:43 01 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:03 07 September 2010

Dozens of green fingered professionals from accountants to teachers and bankers to nurses will be joining forces in north London on Saturday to help preserve the local nature reserve. Despite the worries of the credit crunch, people will be giving up a fe

Dozens of green fingered professionals from accountants to teachers and bankers to nurses will be joining forces in north London on Saturday to help preserve the local nature reserve.

Despite the worries of the credit crunch, people will be giving up a few hours of their weekend to lend a hand to improve the grounds at Belsize Nature Reserve, which is home to a variety of native plants and trees. Volunteers will be building birdcages, clearing pathways, weeding, planting bulbs and coppicing.

The event is being organised by CSV's (Community Service Volunteers) GO London programme as part of the national Action Earth campaign. Go London is a programme run by CSV that offers commitment free volunteering to suit anyone in London.

The programme has received a grant from the Action Earth campaign, supported by Morrison's supermarket as part of a drive to kick start environmental projects around the UK.

CSV's Go London Project Coordinator Mary Makoni says: "You would think that with the credit crunch, people are less likely to give their time for free but this is not the case. Being able to dip in and try volunteering with no commitment is really attractive to people and have seen a rise in the number of people wanting to take part.

"Volunteering is the perfect way to relieve stress, meet new people and discover 'hidden gems' like Belsize Nature Reserve, which many Londoners have no idea exists. Some people even find their future partners through volunteering."

Go London events are held every weekend across London with opportunities varying from painting a mural in a local school and creating community playgrounds to coppicing woodland. It's flexible in its approach and offers commitment free opportunities for people to help out in communities.

To get involved in future GO London events or for further information, please contact Mary Makoni on 0207 643 1373 or email gocity@csv.org.uk or visit our website http://www.csv.org.uk/Volunteer/Part-time/GO/

1. The CSV Action Earth campaign supported by Morrisons supermarket involves giving 900 cash grants to help kick-start community projects that make improvements to the environment. This year the volunteer effort, which runs from March 1st to 31st July (2009), aims to get thousands of volunteers across the country taking action to protect the environment for a greener future.

2. To receive a £50 grant, which covers expenses including materials, projects must: improve the local environment, involve volunteers, or meet a local community need. Examples of projects completed by volunteers last year include: Planting up a wildlife area in a local school, erecting bird/bat/hedgehog boxes in a nearby wood, cleaning up a local beach and clearing and signing local footpaths. To register a project and apply for a grant or get more information on CSV Action Earth, call CSV on Tel: 0121 328 7455 /0131 622 7766 or visit www.csv.org.uk or www.actionearth.org.uk

3. Last year (2008) Action Earth inspired 900 projects who helped over 18,000 people across the UK improve: 517,788 acres of land, construct 842 bird/bat boxes plant 43,000 plants/bulbs and seeds, clear 3,200 sacks of litter, pack 699 tonnes of recycling Build 1,315 metres of fencing and walls plant 3,189 trees, clear 11,200 metres of canal and river beds

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