Sutton Nature Conservation Volunteers celebrates its 25 year
Sutton Nature Conservation Volunteers celebrates 25 years of protecting the borough's greenery this summer.
A quarter of a century after it was launched by TV environmentalist Dr David Bellamy, the volunteers remain as dedicated as ever to keeping Sutton one of London's greenest boroughs.
Week in, week out, volunteers mow, chop and beautify parts of 150 hectares of land in the borough - under the expert guidance of David Warburton, Secretary of SNCV and Biodiversity Officer for Sutton Council.
Chairman of the SNCV, Joanne Porter said: "I hope the SNCV can continue to work with the council to improve biodiversity in Sutton for many years into the future."
And the team, men and women, from teenagers to an 85-year-old man who is one of the group's longest-serving volunteers, are also busily trying to save the Small Blue Butterfly from local extinction, by creating new habitat for it.
Mr Warburton, 35, said: "They're all sorts of people really. Some are young people who want to learn the skills for a career in this field; others are older people who just like to help out for a day or so here and there.
"But we're glad to take all of them. There's so much work that needs doing and the more volunteers we get, the more we do. It's as simple as that.
At the moment, volunteers contribute over 700 man days of work around the borough each year, worth another two of me working five days a week to do all the necessary tasks."
One big project the SNCV points to with pride is Anton Crescent Wetlands.
First created in the 1990s as a flood storage wash by the Environment Agency, it was the labour of SNCV that saw it designated a Local Nature Reserve in 2007.
The 1.5 hectare site is now home to a variety of wildlife and in 2011 in a joint project with Sutton Inclusion Centre - a facility for people with profound learning disabilities - a viewing platform was erected.