Volunteers from Basingstoke firm dig in to transform site

Basingstoke Gazette: Volunteers help clear overgrown land at Milkingpen Lane, Old Basing Volunteers help clear overgrown land at Milkingpen Lane, Old Basing

STAFF from a Basingstoke business spent the day transforming an outside area for Scout and Guide groups.

Around 30 volunteers from Scottish and Southern Electric’s offices and depots in Basingstoke and Reading took the day off work to clear a heavily overgrown 1.5 acre site in Milkingpen Lane, Old Basing.

The land, owned by Old Basing Scouts and Guides, was cleared of debris by the team, before tree cutters arrived with specialist tools and machinery to take out overgrown brambles, foliage, fallen wood and overhanging branches.

By 5pm, the clearance work was finished and SSE contractors Fore-most Tree Surgeons finished the job, giving their time for free as volunteers.

The effort revealed a green area which the Scouts and Guides can now use for outdoor activities.

SSE staff carried out the project as part of the electricity company’s Community at Heart scheme, which gives employees the chance to take a day away from the office to help in their community.

Vicki Birch, group co-ordinator from SSE’s metering off-ice, said: “The Scouts and Guides have started a major project to rebuild their hut, which had been damaged beyond economic repair after flooding in 2009.

“It’s a huge fund-raising campaign, and in the meantime they really wanted to make better use of the land around the hut, which had become overgrown.”

She added: “We certainly incurred a few aches and pains in the process, but we really enjoyed our day and it was very rewarding being able to see such a difference. It means the Scouts and Guides can now use their land for outdoor activities such as camping and archery.”

Terry Weston, Scout leader and plant engineer for SSE, made the team aware of the campaign.

He said: “I was extremely impressed with all the work which was carried out. It made a huge difference having so many people getting stuck in.

“We’ve already used our cleared site and the youngsters couldn’t believe what they saw when they arrived.”

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