Villagers dig in to help community

Belford litter squad'Picture caption Bulb planting 1: front to back - Libbie, Ethan, Millie and father Nathan Emblen.''Picture caption bulb planting 2:  left to right - Millie, Ethan, Libbie and father Nathan Emblen
Belford litter squad'Picture caption Bulb planting 1: front to back - Libbie, Ethan, Millie and father Nathan Emblen.''Picture caption bulb planting 2: left to right - Millie, Ethan, Libbie and father Nathan Emblen

COMMUNITY-SPIRITED residents are getting together to improve the environment in their north Northumberland village.

People of all ages have volunteered to help pick litter, prune trees and clear woodland in Belford.

Local children planted around 350 daffodil bulbs, donated by Belford Community Group, along the edge of the village playground on South Road. The volunteers also plan to put up some bird boxes before Christmas.

Recently two residents had worked with chainsaws to cut back overgrown willows around the children’s playground, opening up the view into the playground to make it safer for the children. Some of the wood has provided logs to be distributed among the elderly residents of the village.

The volunteers, brought together by villager Brian Rogers, are working with Northumberland County Council to identify what work needs to be done in Belford. The council has agreed to a programme of preventative thinning and removal of shrubs that are overhanging the pavement.

Some of the thin and dead trees in the woodland are being felled by local forest workers, assisted by the volunteers. The County Council will chip the branches and the chippings can then be used on the path through the nearby community woodland.

The next stage is to fell the thin trees in the conservation area, together with the blackthorn and other scrub trees that overhang the footpath. This will be done as soon as the necessary permission to work in the conservation area has been obtained. The woodland will then be planted with native woodland plants.

Brian said: “We are waiting for permission to work in the conservation area so we can finish off the woodland. I would like to thank everyone for their support so far in helping to make the village more attractive.”

Coun Alan Thompson, executive member responsible for neighbourhood services, added: “These enthusiastic residents should be commended for their great efforts to tidy up their local environment. This is what our LOVE Northumberland campaign is all about – communities working with the council to help make our beautiful county a better place.”