It’s that time of year again. Blossoms are blooming, bees are buzzing, and temperatures are slowly starting to rise.

I love Spring. It’s a season of new beginnings, where we look forward to the future, and watch the natural world shake off the harsh English winter months. It’s during spring when I feel most grateful to have access to some incredible green spaces.

It’s been really heartening, then, to see communities pulling together to protect their natural spaces, and to make the most of this wonderful season.

Those of you who know me will know how passionate I am about Friends of the Tame Valley (FoTV) – the community group I helped form in 2021 and which has grown from strength to strength. It’s been so inspiring to see volunteers taking time out of their day to spruce up the valley and plant in anticipation of Spring.

FoTV will be holding their next ‘Spring Clean’ this Sunday at 10:30am, meeting at Dunkirk Lane Car Park in Jet Amber Fields. If you’re free, do pop over and lend a helping hand. It’s a fantastic way to spend a Sunday morning and makes such a positive difference to the local environment.

But it isn’t just FoTV doing great work. Last week, I helped the Friends of Horses Field Dane Bank plant 500 new trees with the support of City of Trees. As if that isn’t evidence enough of the power of community, we’ve recently seen the creation of Friends of Ladbroke Wood and Friends of Victoria Park. These groups have been formed with the help of local Councillors and residents are signing up in their droves, determined to make a difference.

I want to pass Tameside on to the next generation in a better condition than when I found it, and I know that ambition is shared strongly across the local area. When local people pull together, the possibilities are endless.

I look forward to supporting existing community groups, and helping new ones as they inevitably flourish. We all share ownership of our precious natural resources. We have a responsibility not only to enjoy them, but also to protect them.

So, if you hear of a new community group, why not get involved? You’ll make new friends, learn skills, and change Tameside for the better.

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