Milton Keynes Green Gym
In November 2023, as we reached the 10th anniversary as an independent voluntary group, we were able to announce that we had been awarded the King’s Award for Voluntary Service.
There has been a Green Gym in Milton Keynes since 2011, initially run by a leader employed by The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), but from the beginning of 2014 as an independent group of volunteers. We meet every Thursday morning, throughout the year, to work on and improve, the green spaces of Milton Keynes.
The landowners may be MK Parks Trust, MK Council, local Parish Councils, schools, community groups and charities. The works carried out include tree planting, hedge laying, scrub clearance, pond work, woodland path building, the creation of nature areas, grass cutting and general gardening.
The benefits to the general public are obvious – the communities benefit from the work carried out in their neighbourhoods. The volunteers are asked to return time and again to carry out work that, especially in these times of government cutbacks, would otherwise be left undone. The benefits to the volunteers are equally apparent. They get to work outdoors, in the fresh air, improving their own physical fitness and mental well being. In addition, they quickly become part of a friendly team that adds a social dimension to the activities.
There is always a variety of tasks and activities to be achieved, offering different levels of physical challenge, so that you can work at your own pace and as part of a team, without anyone feeling that they have to do something beyond their capabilities, but at the same time learning new skills that sometimes surprise the volunteers themselves. Green Gym activities can be suitable for everyone over the age of 16 years (if you are aged 16 or 17 we will need prior parental or guardian informed consent). There is no upper age limit.
Volunteers arrive dressed for the weather and an outdoor working environment. Everything else is provided – gloves, tools and the very necessary tea, coffee and biscuits, for the most important refreshment break.