A major ‘Ground Force’ style project to turn a disused former play area in Stevenage into a wildlife haven is to benefit from funding from a local county councillor.

Robin Parker (Chells) has awarded the Stevenage District Scout Council £1,000 so that they can continue work on the project.

A total of £10,000 is available to each of the 77 members of Hertfordshire County Council to spend on worthwhile community projects in their area.

Cllr Parker’s funding will help to pay for the work and the machinery needed to maintain the area.

The Scouts have already put up fencing, planted hedges and cleared the pond with the help of the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. They now plan to plant trees for a small spinney, level off some of the ground and create a path around the garden.

Cllr Parker said:

The area involved is, sadly, a favourite site for dumping litter and junk, which makes the Scouts’ planned transformation of it for the benefit of the community and wildlife all the more laudable. They have worked very hard, using much of their own funding to carry out the work so far, and are keen to press on with the next phase, subject to funding.

The Scouts are also hoping, at a later stage, to build a bridge across the pond, create a small decking area with seating, and plant flowers and shrubs to attract wildlife. The area would be protected by security fencing and lockable gates to protect if from vandals.

Locality Budgets were launched in July 2009, with funding to be used for worthy social, economic or environmental causes in Hertfordshire. For information on how to apply for funding under the scheme, visit www.hertsdirect.org and type ‘locality budgets’ into the search box.