With the autumn equinox over and the dark nights of winter looming the last thing on most people’s minds is going out to their local park.   But autumn gives us many reasons to visit our local green spaces, as the trees start to display their autumnal colours and animals and birds prepare for winter.  

Glendale’s volunteer conservation programme, Nature’s Gym, provides residents in Richmond with the perfect opportunity to embrace the season and look after their local parks and nature reserves this autumn.  

Nature’s Gym is comprised of a series of free to join nature conservation activities for every level of ability and fitness.  There is no experience necessary.  The activities are led by Glendale’s trained nature conservation officers and include practical conservation work such as dead hedging, tree planting, scrub and woodland management, along with family fun activities like building bug hotels and stag beetle loggeries.

Gina Beresford, Glendale’s Nature Conservation Officer, comments: “There is no better time of year to join our Nature’s Gym team.  Spending time outside on crisp autumn days are one of life’s pleasures and there is plenty to do to prepare the parks for winter.  We have over 20 volunteers currently, the majority of whom participate at Palewell Common, Beveree Wildlife Site and Ham Common Woods, so there is plenty of room for more enthusiastic members.”

Not only does Nature’s Gym have many benefits for the environment, but it is great for the health and well-being of its volunteers too, particularly during this time of the year when physical activity levels naturally decrease.  

“Being outside and learning about wildlife is such an enjoyable experience for the whole family,” continues Gina. “We even run school sessions so that everyone has the chance to discover how they can support their local environment not only in autumn, but throughout the year.”  

The Nature’s Gym volunteer sessions are held three days a week all year round, and on one Saturday every month between 10am and 12pm.  

“All of the tools and equipment that the volunteers need is provided by us and, of course, plenty of refreshments!” says Gina.  “All you need to do is get in touch with the team and come along.”

To find out more about Nature’s Gym or to take part visit NaturesGym on Facebookfollow @ConservationNG on Twitter or email Gina Beresford on naturesgym@glendale-services.co.uk.

Download the latest event timetable here.