Tree Wardens give bins facelift

Thursday 1st February 2018

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Wakefield City Centre’s metal litter bins have had a facelift thanks to Wakefield BID and local volunteers Wakefield District Tree Wardens.

Tree Wardens, based at the Rose Garden Nursery at Thornes Park, have taken 24 old bins stripped off the old paint, cleaned them up and repainted them in satin black. before returning them to their city centre locations.

Wakefield District Tree Wardens are volunteers committed to protecting and enhancing trees and woodland in the Wakefield area but they have gone much further to improve public spaces.

Tree Wardens work with schools, community groups and adults who have learning difficulties on a variety of projects. In the spring they grow garden plants and British wild flowers, used to improve public green spaces. In the autumn and winter they plant trees, making bird and bat boxes, renovating park benches and now refurbishing litter bins.

Wakefield BID has paid for the bin refurbishment as part of its commitment in its business plan to improve the city centre environment to help make it a great place to visit and do business.

The funds raised from the sale of some products from The Rose Garden Nursery are used to buy materials to achieve even more success improving public parks and spaces. The Tree Wardens were instrumental in restoring and improving the arboretum at Newmillerdam and soon they will be involved planting 2,000 new trees on the site of the old refuse tip at Shaw Cross.

Tree Warden Roger Parkinson explained: “The Wakefield District Tree Wardens have been working to improve Wakefield for a decade. By the time the 2,000 trees are planted at Shaw Cross, the total number of trees added to the district will be 44,500. 165 benches have been through the winter workshop and approx 70,000 British Wild Flower Plants have gone out to increase natural diversity and benefit wildlife.

“This month we have made 100 bird and bat boxes which are going to several locations including The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Canals Trust at Horbury. We could not have achieved this alone and many schools, community groups, businesses and organisations have been involved.

“Working in team activities helps to build the confidence, communication skills and self-esteem of those involved particularly when they see the result of their efforts and feel appreciated and valued for it.

“We are not funded from large grants and raising money to carry out these projects is difficult. We aim to be self-funding so the money we get from some of our work is welcomed and it is put back into the projects.

“We were pleased to receive the request to work with Wakefield BID and to play a part in improving our city. There is a growing network across our community who are getting involved in these projects and it’s great to be part of it.”

Wakefield BID Manager Elizabeth Murphy praised the work of the Tree Wardens. “The bins look so much better than they did before their renovation. Street furniture like bins are fundamental to the environment of the city centre so it is important that they look smart and help give a good impression,” she said.

“The Tree Wardens and the service users have done a great job and its good to think that local people have played a part in improving our city centre.”