The 29th Immaculata Scout Troop, along with the 5th North Brownies, took part in a joint movement project to work towards a uniform badge, but more importantly to help clean up our local nature area is Mansbridge. Both the sections above meet at the same Scout Hut, so we already knew one another before hand (Leaders anyway) and some children did as well.
Over the course of our five hours both movements worked together in four mini groups. Two groups worked in different areas to pull up the Himalayan Balsam Weed; this is an invasive weed that needs to be cleared on an annual basis to reduce its invasion from riverbanks. This will then allow natural vegetation to thrive for the benefit of all natural insects.
This was simply done by wearing gardening gloves and protective glasses, reaching as far down to the ground as you could, getting around various obstructions, and pulling to get the roots up. This was much easier then it may sound. Then we just made piles of the weed as tall as scouts to be sorted by the organisers in charge at a later date.
Another group went on a litter pick armed with grabbing sticks and bags to collect a wide range of rubbish left by either people on picnics or who had just dropped it as they walked through the reserve.
The final group, armed with secateurs and shears, were helping to tidy up the paths by cutting back the bushes etc, which were growing over them, so a more clearer pathway through for the public to use was established.
During the day all groups rotated to cover each other’s tasks and also have an opportunity to take part in various other roles.
We also took a packed lunch along with us and sat down together to eat during the day. This is when some Scouts (younger ones) and Brownies realised that they knew one another from either their current school, or the Scout had moved onto secondary school, but used to go to the school where the Brownies current do.
The weather during the day was very kind to us with the sun coming out for the whole time we were there.
At the very end the Friends of Monksbridge, who we were helping out, gave some of the children who had not left earlier, a small coke in the local pub garden to say thanks. They said that we had done much more then they had expected, but our number of 16 Scouts and Leaders along with 11 Brownies and Leaders attended (making 27 of us) did help.
They also asked whether we were up for it nexts year, everyone seemed happy with this idea.
All in all a good day for both the Scouts and Brownies showing the local community what we can get up to and showing them that some of the local children do care about the environment and are happy to help clear it up, and that both movements can work together in harmony to a common goal.