www.thefriendsoffairydell.co.uk is owned by the Friends’ group. Last updated 10 July, 2020 

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Boro Becks Volunteer Rangers visit to Fairy Dell - 29th May 2012

The Boro Becks project has been running since September 2010,
and covers four of the becks in Middlesbrough, including a section of Marton West Beck downstream of Fairy Dell, between Ladgate Lane and Keith Road.

The Boro Becks project is a partnership between Middlesbrough Council, the Environment Agency and Tees Valley Wildlife Trust. The project is funded by the Big Lottery Access to Nature Fund, administered by Natural England. As part of the project we work with local communities to volunteer on the becks.

A number of our volunteers are interested in forming a ‘friends’ group for their section of Marton West Beck, so the visit to meet the Friends of Fairy Dell was an ideal opportunity to see another part of this beck, see what work they have undertaken to improve their area, see how they have worked with the local community, schools and Middlesbrough Council, and to see how that work has achieved many successful improvements.

The Friends of Fairy Dell were very welcoming, and were on hand to give advice and share their knowledge of how their group came together and how they work, so that the Boro Becks volunteers could gain more of an understanding of how their fledgling group could come together. In return our volunteers helped strim some overgrown vegetation from around seats and art features, trimmed back vegetation from the edges of footpaths and did a litter-pick of the area.

Our work downstream of Fairy Dell has seen an overgrown and under-used length of the beck become more open and welcoming to the communities in Acklam, Beechwood and Easterside. Work undertaken by our volunteers has included thinning of scrub and woodland, drainage improvements, bulb and wildflower planting, wildlife surveying, and re-opening long-forgotten footpaths. Hearing the history of Fairy Dell, the story sounds very similar!

The team are drawing-up long-term plans to continue to their work to further improve the area including footpath improvements, step-building, more wildflower planting, and tree thinning. A walk around the dell on that sunny afternoon, enjoying the wildlife, the peace and quiet, looking at the improvements made here it was easy to see how the Boro Becks volunteers’ work could look in a few years time. The visit has inspired the group to come up with new ideas of how their section of Marton West Beck could be improved.

The day was very useful for building relationships between the two groups, to help provide mutual support, friendship, linking up the wider-community to encourage more people to visit this wonderful refuge for people and wildlife that links the town with the wider countryside.

Thank you for a great day out, and we hope we can pay each other a visit again soon!

Barry Jobson (Boro Becks Ranger) and the Boro Becks Volunteer Rangers.