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Today at Preston Parks

Good afternoon and welcome to a brand new week into the voluntary roles Alex Ashworth is taking part in, in and around the North West of Lancashire.

This morning I volunteered my time with Preston Parks at Ashton Park. It was a welcome return to the Monday routine as I hadn't seen and worked with Steve Smith ( senior park ranger ) for some time so it was refreshing to continue our work friendship.

It was 9.45am and as I made my way up the path towards the pavilion base, Steve greeted me with open arms and encouraged me with the words, " come on Alex". It was good to be back.

What shocked Steve the most before we began our litter duties was when I announced I was turning down the biscuits, due in part to a health issue which has prompted me to cut down on sugary things. He even invited me to have the alternative, a banana or a tangerine but I turned them down too because they upset my stomach.

Once the dietary requirements were dealt with we made our way outside complete with litter picker, several bin bags and a litter carrier. We were more than ready to tackle the weekends onslaught of litter that scattered the park.

We split up and did the work diligently although at times I thought I had lost Steve but we somehow found each other amidst the dog walkers and the weekly joggers in the park.

It was coming to 11.25am and we'd nearly reached the end of our litter clearance. We were both in dire need of a brew despite the absence of chocolate biscuits although I think Steve ate my share in the end.

" A great way to start your Monday morning, a nice, clean park". I couldn't agree with you more Steve as we had concluded part one of the morning session and were ready for brief break.

After our coffee break we had ten minutes left in which to make a start taking some weeds out in an area to the right of the pavilion base. We had a wheelbarrow each and a fork to take out all the unnecessary weeds.

By 12noon it was time to go. With the bank holiday Monday taking place next week we were initially going to give next week a break but Steve could sense my eagerness and my keen involvement to help out where I can so we have resolved to meet next week, Monday 2nd May at the same time 10am.

It was great to be back working together again and benefit from the camaraderie that shapes our unique work friendship.

This is Alex Ashworth signing off for another rewarding and enjoyable day volunteering for Preston Parks.

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