Anniversary celebration of Severn Valley Country Park
Staff and volunteers at Severn Valley Country Park have come together to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the countryside attraction – including a tree planting in honour of volunteer Don Bannister.
The Green Flag award-winning Severn Valley Country Park, which has developed on the site of the old Alveley Pit, is visited by 200,000 people each year and is maintained by Shropshire Council staff and a team of volunteers.
Don, 84, a volunteer, said:-
“I saw it when it was the old colliery site and was black with coal spoil. The park has come a long, long way since then and is very prestigious. We have won the Green Flag Award for 18 years.
“I got involved at the start, about 1991, after I took voluntary redundancy from GKN where I was an analytical chemist. I have always had an interest in nature and conservation, and I was fed up with being indoors all the time so this was a perfect opportunity.
“I was chair of the volunteers group for 13 years and then we were awarded The Queen’s Voluntary Award, which is the highest recognition for voluntary groups.
“I was very flattered to have the oak tree planted in my honour: it wasn’t something I expected at all and there are a few other volunteers who are catching me up.”
Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, culture, leisure and tourism, and transport, welcomed the landmark anniversary and thanked everyone involved in nurturing the site over the last 30 years.
“Given Severn Valley Country Park’s industrial heritage as the site of the Alveley Pit and as a place where people once worked and lived, it is a very important space to the local community.
“The 126 acres now offer a great mix of valuable habitats and are home to wildlife that has been lost in other parts of the country. These assets are valuable and have been maintained and cared for by the staff and volunteers since the site opened 30 years ago.
“Our special thanks must also go to Don for his unwavering willingness, enthusiasm and support for Severn Valley Country Park throughout its 30-year history.”
As well as discovering a range of different habitats from ponds and the riverbanks to woodlands and grasses, visitors can explore way-marked walking routes, or select activities from a comprehensive events programme including guided walks, activities for children, outdoor theatre and seasonal self-guided nature trails ensures there is always something to do.
To find out more about Severn Country Park and what’s on offer please visit: Severn Valley Country Park | Shropshire’s Great Outdoors (shropshiresgreatoutdoors.co.uk)