Trip to Yorkshire Sculpture Park

This week the VPA team ventured over the Pennines to Yorkshire Sculpture Park for a team building day out! We very much enjoyed the cakes they had to offer in the YSP cafe . . . AND of course the sculptures were great too 🙂

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Joanne Green- Week 4 w/c 18/06/2012


This week involved lots of research and reading and I’ve been out twice with my camera looking for ‘Patterns in Nature’.

Research included Natural England Volunteer Walk Leader Training Manual: Walking the way to health, 2008, Catalogue code NE82 and self- and reported Health and Safety injuries in the workplace statistics. Initially I undertook the Health & Safety Executive research in preparation for a test. Once I completed the test I became interested in establishing whether there are any coincidences or correlations within the Health & Safety Executive statistics.

The statistics show accident types involving days off work self-reported and averaged accidents under Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations. Published findings show 38% of employees are off work for three days due to manual handling incidences and 22% off due to slips and trips. These equate to 60% of self-reported accidents each year when combined. Reported incidences, although averaged, show an identical sequence of workplace injury and for three consecutive years. These are 28% for manual handling and 26% for slips and trips resulting in a lower 54% in 2011.

Feedback and drafts 2 and 3 of my project led me to read Environment Agency Planning & Research. I am now aware of funding for catchment restoration and Exercise watermark final reports- better preparing us for flooding, a summary, and the actual report.

This week I was introduction to Digital Photography resulting in a photography field trip along Holyrood Street off Shaw Road, Oldham 21/06/2012. The field trip established a number of patterns; some natural and some man made. These are grouped into:

i)    A portrait shot of a single person;

ii)   A group shot of 3 or more people instructed to ‘do’ something;

iii)   A landscape shot with a depth of at least 1 mile;


Landscape Shot, distance, man made (Source: Joanne Green 21/06/2012).


Landscape shot: wildflower meadow, in nature (source: Joanne Green 22/06/2012).

iv)   A close up of some wildlife;


Close up, plant alive (source: Joanne Green 21/06/2012).


Close up, plant dead (source: Joanne Green 21/06/2012).


Close up, slug (source: Joanne Green 21/06/2012).


Close up, Heron (source: Joanne Green 22/06/2012).


Wildlife in pond (source: Joanne Green 22/06/2012).

v)    Line of progression;


Line of progression, nature impression (source: Joanne Green 21/06/2012).



Line of progression, man made impression (source: Joanne Green 22/06/2012).

vi)   Depth;


Depth, mirror image, antenna, nature (source: Joanne Green 21/06/2012).


Depth, natural (source: Joanne Green 22/06/2012).


Depth, Trigonometry, man made (source: Joanne Green 21/06/2012).


vii)  Inner frame;

Inner frame, natural man made (source: 21/06/2012).

Inner frame, natural (source: Joanne Green 22/06/2012).

viii) Golden ratio;

Golden ratio, man made (source: Joanne Green 21/06/2012).


ix)   Vertical shots;

Vertical, acute angle, man made (source: Joanne Green 22/06/2012).

Vertical, concentric circles, natural (source: Joanne Green 22/06/2012).

Vertical on gradient, in nature (source: Joanne Green 22/06/2012).

Vertical, Parallel Lines, man made (source: Joanne Green 22/06/2012).

Vertical, Parallel Lines, Straight (source: Joanne Green 21/06/2012).

Vertical, Stems, nature (source: Joanne Green 22/06/2012).

x)    Horizontal shots;

Horizontal, Jagged edges, nature (source: Joanne Green 22/06/2012).

Horizontal, Parallel Lines, Curved, man made (source: Joanne Green 21/06/2012).

Horizontal, Parallel Lines in nature (source: Joanne Green 22/06/2012).

Horizontal, Parallel Lines, skirt, nature (source: Joanne Green 21/06/2012).


xi) ‘S’ shape; and

‘S’ Shape, Brook, nature (source: Joanne Green 22/06/2012).

‘S’ Shape, in Lodge Pond (source: Joanne Green 22/06/2012).

‘S’ Shape, man made (source: Joanne Green 21/06/2012).

xii)  Spiral shape.

Spiral, man made (source: Joanne Green 21/06/2012).

Spiral, nature (source: Joanne Green 21/06/2012).

I used the skills learnt in the photography exercise at Boarshaw Clough, 22/06/2012. I have not altered the images as I wanted them to remain as ‘natural’ as possible. I have placed the photos that do not contain people in into a gallery.

Using the photographs of the 2 sites given in the Gallery the greatest variety of ‘Shapes in Nature’ is:

Nature = 13 whereas in comparison man made = 10. Close up and Landscape shots are not included as they are too biased and would have skewed the findings.

My conclusion from the photographic exercise is there are additional social returns on investment in infrastructure such as parks because they could be used to promote mathematical understanding in children by exposing them to things such as patterns.

I would like to thank the British Science Association- Manchester branch who introduced me to the concept and reality of ‘Patterns in Nature’ when I first became a volunteer with them.

This week I listened to a webinar from my professional body, Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment ‘The UK Natural Ecosystem Assessment’. Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale supplied me with a laptop, a hearing loop and a quiet room to concentrate in without undue distraction. This resulted in me having a positive learning experience.

Joanne Green- Week 3 w/c 11/06/2012.

I began researching four organisations who accept volunteers; the submission deadline is 02/07/2012.

The organisations are categorised into International, National, Statutory and Local. The organisations are Commonwealth Foundation, British Science Association and Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale. I’m undecided for statutory organisation. So far it’s a three legged race between Natural England, Environment Agency and the University of Manchester. Each is wonderful, steeped in history and science as well as being progressive organisations. This results in it being a difficult decision to make. All comments welcome that may assist me to make up my mind!

As part of the VPA I undertake a project. I’ve chosen Bid Writing. I was very pleased with myself that I met my first deadline, a draft copy of four proposals.

Groundwork encourages VPAs to undertake extra activities. I have joined the Procurement and Environment groups to build upon my skills in those areas.

On Friday I went to Boarshaw Clough with my Cohort of VPAs.
Boarshaw Clough, Middleton M24, UK.

Being an urban dweller Boarshaw Clough is the type of topography that I walk in. I observed bramble, grasses, burdock, a dragonfly (blue) and spittle bugs. Tree leaves include simple leaves narrow (willow) and heart-shaped (lime), lobed (sessile oak), and spiky (holly).

During the visit I witnessed how the ecology has adapted to and is altering its immediate environment. For example succession of reeds adjacent to the Lodge Pond has created a dense area. As a result the river water is unable to permeate it. An aspect of the altered watercourse is the flood plains having calved ravines into its landscape. Interestingly the birds, moorhens, mallards, swans and heron appeared unaffected by the pond’s retraction and behaved as expected.

Image 13 shows an area that has seating in. Unfortunately the weather was abysmal and impacted upon photo opportunities.

Image 13: Seating area (source: Joanne Green 15/06/2012).

Joanne Green- Week 2 w/c 04/06/2012

Residential Trip to Brunt’s Barn, Grindleford, Sheffield.

Brunts Barn

Brunts Barn, Grindleford, UK

Duration of the trip was three days whereby the VPA Team stayed in an apartment.

On day one I helped with conservation work by laying a path (Image 5) along the River Derwent near Calver Bridge, Hope Valley, Derbyshire S32 on the A623 Baslow Road 5mm south of Marker A.


Image 5: Me racking the path (source: Natalia 06/06/2012).

At Brunts’ Barn in the water bath I saw a skater, water scavenger beetle, diving beetles, water snails, burrowing water beetle, water larvae grub.  In the grass areas I saw lots of moths, moss, creeping buttercup and nettles. At Calver Bridge I saw

ducks, ground and rove beetles, reeds, nettles, burdock, wild carrot, garlic and fennel, beech trees, marsh marigold, monkshood, common water-plantain, dogs’ tongue and bracket fungus. At Calver Weir I saw ladybirds, cardinal beetle, (beetle) larvae, snail, hawthorn and ash trees, fox glove, false rhubarb, common figwort,

Personal Protective Equipment (wet proofs and steel toe-capped boots), food, accommodation and transport were supplied by Groundwork and the Ranger Service. This resulted in a comfortable learning curve. For example, whilst it rained incessantly on 07/06/2012 I remained dry. The signage was legible and informative (Image 6).


Image 6: Signage (source: Joanne Green 06/06/2012).

Signage besides the Mill Pond informed of Great Crested Newts.

Calver Bridge

Peak District National Park, Hope Valley, Derbyshire S32, UK

Other images include: Calver Bridge (Image 7);


Image 7: Calver Bridge (source: Joanne Green 06/06/2012).

Calver Weir (Images 8 and 9);


Image 8: Calver Weir (source: Joanne Green 07/07/2012).

and insect life (Images 10, 11, and 12).


Image 9: Calver Weir (source: Joanne Green 07/06/2012).


Image 10: Grub within wood (source: Joanne Green 07/06/2012).


Image 11: Snail (source: Joanne Green 07/06/2012).


Image 12: Cardinal Beetle (source: Joanne Green 07/06/2012).

During a 6am ramble, 5m from Brunt’s Barn was a sign for ground nesting birds.  Coming from an urban environment I’d never seen signage for ground-nesting birds before. Upon observing the sign I maintained my stroll along the path and not into the adjacent grasses and herbage, of which thyme was present.


Joanne Green- Week 1 w/c 28/05/2012

Induction ‘week’ was four days in duration and contained policies, procedures, paperwork completion and a trip to Hollingworth Lake.

Hollingworth Lake Country Park, Littleborough OL15, UK

The car park contains Common nettle, Monk’s hood, and common fumitory. The Sensor garden has Lamb’s ear. The trees have compound leaves such as feather-like (common ash), finger-like (horse chestnut and sycamore) and simple leaves (maple, hawthorn and cherry). The grasses were full of seeds.


Image 1: Green Man created by Chainsaw artist Mr. Richard James (source: Joanne Green 29/05/2012).

Whilst walking to the lake I walked past The Green Man (image 1) organised by The Countryside Rangers for the Friends of Hollingworth Lake and paid for by the Lottery Community Spaces Grant.

I walked around part of the circumference of the lake along B6225 Lake Bank to Hollingworth Road in the gnats’ habitat. The time was 2pm, the weather warm, cloudy with a light breeze. On my right was the lake (Image 3) and to my left hills containing wind turbines (Image 2). In the forefront of image 2 is the manmade overflow of the lake though Image 4 illustrated that it was not needed at the time of my visit.


Image 2: B6225 Lake Bank, view north-west (source: Joanne Green 29/05/2012).


Image 3: B6225 Lake Bank, view south-east (source: Joanne Green 29/05/2012).


Image 4: B6225 Lake Bank, view south-east (source: Joanne Green 29/05/2012).

At Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale office, Shaw Road, the nine protected characteristics application in the workplace was discussed and debated. This included: Equality and Diversity, Age & Employment, Religion or belief, Sex discrimination & sexual orientation, Race & employment, Disability & employment training. These were supplemented with stereotyping, diversity, equality Vs diversity and social diversity.

By day four I became aware of Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale rules and regulations including expense claiming, What Groundwork does such as Building Crafts, Safeguarding and the location of the paperless policy copies for update familiarization.

With Jo and other Volunteer Project Assistants (VPAs) I became familiar with the building by touring it.


Joanne Green: My Profile

Hello I’m Joanne from Stockport, Cheshire. After university I began Community Engagement with a number of community and SME groups in Stockport. These include Sustainable Living in the Heatons, Stockport Fairtrade Group, Stockport Fairtrade Steering Group, Stockport Writers, Write Out Loud- Stockport branch, Marple Out Loud and British Science Association- Manchester branch. I also do volunteer work as:

i)             Resident participation with my housing association, Equity Housing Group on the Customer Panel and Going Green Group; and

ii)            Archiving with Stockport Heritage Library for the Stockport Image Archive voluntary Project.

I believe that being an active member of these groups has prepared me for my Groundwork Volunteer Project Assistant role in a number of ways. They have given me:

i)             Experience and awareness of how community groups work such as teamwork, planning and the barriers they face such as resource constraints;

ii)            An understanding and appreciation of international and local SMEs via Customer Panel training of business management experience, governance, planning processes, risk and service, Lean Methodology including key performance indicators;

iii)           An improvement of my literacy, numeracy and IT skills by way of scanning and data input, Scrutiny, creative writing and public speaking.

I aim to place a submission to this blog each week so that you can observe my experiences whilst I am on this placement.