Rangers hop to it and create frog pond

NATURE-LOVING YOUNGSTERS are getting hands-on to help with conservation projects at one of the area’s most-loved reservoirs.

GREAT JOB: The team take a break after digging a frog pond
GREAT JOB: The team take a break after digging a frog pond

Oldham Youth Council has teamed up with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and United Utilities to help protect the wildlife and environment at Dovestone Reservoir in Greenfield.

And their first project is already well under way, with ten to 14 teenage ‘Rangers’ spending their Sunday afternoons digging a frog pond on the moorlands.

After researching the area, the wildlife, health and safety and how to construct a pond, they visited the reservoir to pick a spot and put their plans into action.

Luke Slater, an 18-year-old elected Youth Councillor for Saddleworth, said: “We found in our research that the frog population is decreasing so we decided to build a pond for frogs and amphibians.

“It’s too late to plant trees now but we’ll do that later in the year. Everybody plants trees so this is a bit different.”

The on-going project will also help the team gain qualifications, contributing towards Duke of Edinburgh awards, the Peak District Award and The John Muir Award.

Greg Cookson, from Oldham Youth Services and leading the project, said: This is a good project to get stuck into to start with as you can see the results immediately.

“It also fits in well with the volunteering work. I’m loving it and they are too. It’s been hard work digging it but now they can see what they have achieved.”

Geoff De Boer, education officer for RSPB at Dovestone, added: “The team has done a great job looking at all the technical aspects and planning how to build it.

“It will be perfect for all sorts of invertebrate to live in as well as providing drinking water and bathing water and for the birds and woodland animals.”

The team plans to launch more projects at Dovestone, including dam building, creating and monitoring bat and bird boxes, and planting tree and wildflower gardens.

Oldham Youth Council offers activities and events for young people as well as getting them involved in the borough’s decision-making process, and is the first youth council in the country to receive full constitutional rights.

To join the Dovestone Rangers or Oldham Youth Council, email Greg Cookson at greg.cookson@oldham.gov.uk or call: 0161 770 3115. 

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