Following our wet and windy work cutting back scrub on the Malvern Hills, the UK Cyber Security Forum community team were joined by IASME employees for some further hands-on volunteering work. 

 This time, we were at Cripplegate Park in Worcester for some cleaning and clearing. 

Cripplegate Park is quite unique; a little green haven surrounded by traffic, right on the edge of the city. I have driven around it all my life and never before ventured inside its gates. It was quite a revelation: a deceptively large space with very well-maintained flower beds, bowling greens, tennis courts and a really charming cast iron fountain, surrounded by benches.  The park was also recently awarded a prestigious ‘Green Flag Award’, and it’s clear to see why when you walk around it. It seems to have everything a city park should have, including an amazing children’s playground with a large zip wire, kids’ obstacle course and a climbing area with slides. 


I must confess, I was intrigued by the park’s name and wondered what was the meaning behind it. I discovered that in fact it is derived from old English, and refers to a low opening in a wall or a fence to let sheep pass through fields to pasture… who would have thought?

On the morning of our Cripplegate Park project, we arrived nice and early at the ‘Sons of Rest’ pavilion and were greeted with tea and biscuits by the Community Engagement Officer, Stuart Minchin and Lynn and Marilyn from the Swan Food Project. We listened to a talk about their work looking after the swans on the nearby River Severn. The Swan Food Project was launched in 2014 to improve the swan’s nutrition with floating pellets and mixed corn which the public can purchase from various places in the city. It has obviously been very successful as the river is an absolute sanctuary for the birds and they are flourishing all along the riverbank, particularly near the cathedral steps.

We were all equipped with bin bags and litter picker tools and set out to pick up litter from around the park and by the river, guided by Graham, Ross and David from the park’s department. Boy, there was a lot to pick! and some strange items too. I found a pair of rolled up socks and a bead necklace, and Wendy found a massive chunk of metal, which turned out to be a part of a flue from a wood burning stove.

Later, we went around the park itself with shovels and hoes, clearing moss from around the benches and hedging the verges there. Once again, a great effort by the IASME team, getting stuck into a worthy cause, helping our local community and contributing to the city environment in a very positive way.

 By Alex Jones

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