It doesn’t seem like a month since our last newsletter (maybe that’s because it’s not) but there’s just so much going on!

Another award has arrived, this time for the RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood competition.  We entered The Old Fold Garden (the one opposite Mr Fitzpatrick’s) and won a Level 4 Award – THRIVING – one point short of OUTSTANDING!  ‘It was great to see how this area has been transformed … from a foreboding, litter strewn, overgrown forgotten corner … into a superb blast of colour which will lift the spirits of all who sit and enjoy the results of their hard work.’  RHS Judge Stephen Lowe.

Welcome and thank you to our new Patrons: NJH Wealth Management and Supporters: Orbital Design, Studio 51 and HallmarkFIX.  The importance of regular financial contributions cannot be over emphasised now that we have so many gardens to look after.  It’s a tribute to both our volunteers and our benefactors that the importance of our work in contributing to the success of the town is being recognised in this way.

Civic Pride is coming of age.  We’re still just a group of enthusiastic amateurs’ keen to regenerate our area but some of us (no names, no pack drill!) are finding it harder and harder to devote the same amount of time and energy in between doctor’s appointments, visits to the physio and longer periods of recuperation!
We need massive amounts of time and energy from our volunteers to maintain what we’ve achieved but new recruits are not easy to come by.  We’re finding new ways of working which includes small teams taking on individual gardens (Garden Groupies), sub-contracting specific tasks and spreading the load of managing the organisation but still we need more volunteers. So if you (or someone you know) have thought about joining/re-joining us, please stop thinking and get in touch!

Our imminent eviction from our stores at the Town Hall (due to their demolition) has led to RBC lending us a large garage behind Rawtenstall market.  This enables us to implement a long held ambition to buy a secondhand van specifically for transporting plants and equipment between the stores and the working parties.  We now have somewhere secure to keep it between working sessions.  The damage that has been inflicted on volunteer’s cars over the past few years is just not sustainable!

We’re having a gate put into some fencing near to this new store (thank you JS Liftrucks) which will create space for those green things (that everybody seems so keen on) to be stored.

Have you seen the newly planted winter barrier baskets?  They’re lovely but keep an eye on the banking on St Mary’s Way as our horticultural guru tells me that it’s designed for colour somewhere on it, very month of the year!
Not so lovely, please consider the following.

We estimate that 3,000 bags of litter will be collected across the borough this year.  That sounds like a lot of litter, particularly when you consider that each bag weighs around 6kgs when full! So, that’s about 18 tons of litter that will be picked up across the valley this year.  Let’s put it another way.  Each bag contains an average of between 500 and 600 items.  Paper, crisp packets, take away containers, bottles, cans, wipes, cigarette ends and even ladies knickers and other items of clothing!

OK, so let’s do the maths. 3000 x 500 (the lower figure) is 1,500,000 pieces of litter that will be collected from Rossendale streets in 2016. One and a half MILLION pieces of litter!  The A682 from the fire station roundabout to the A59 is about a mile long. It has two verges and a central reservation. Civic Pride volunteers clear it of litter regularly. On the last few occasions it’s been done every 10 days. Each time, we’ve collected over 3.5 bags. That’s around 2000 items of litter or 200 pieces that are thrown out of the windows of vehicles every single day – 8 for every hour of the day on this one short piece of road!

These are mind blowing facts but without our fabulous Lone Ranger litter pickers we’d be living in a sea of litter!

Finally, we’ve still got a few spaces for the annual shindig on 15th December at the Whitaker.  7pm for 7.45pm at £25.00 per head.  Come and join us, good beer, fine wines, glorious food and the company….well you can’t have everything can you!