New Year, New You - Volunteer!

Thursday 5th January 2017

Volunteers at Tiddesley Wood (c) Wendy CarterVolunteers at Tiddesley Wood (c) Wendy Carter

Local charity Worcestershire Wildlife Trust is urging people to put their over-indulgent festive season behind them and start with the New Year with a fresh outlook.

Volunteer break timeThe conservation organisation relies on an army of 400+ volunteers to help with their work across the county. From getting dirty doing practical conservation work to helping inspire the next generation, there’s a little something for everyone in their New Year Resolution offering.

Scott Dallow, volunteer co-ordinator for the Trust, explained “Our volunteers are absolutely vital and are involved in almost every single aspect of our work.

“We’ve got loads of opportunities for people who want to join in – from working off Christmas puddings on nature reserves to helping to inspire children about the wonderful wildlife we have here in Worcestershire.

“This is the time of year when we’re all looking to try something new, give up our bad habits and look afresh at the year ahead - volunteering offers all that and more.

“Why not shake off the January blues and make volunteering your number one New Year Resolution?”

Practical help

Volunteers haymakingMany of the Trust’s volunteers undertake practical conservation work on their 75+ nature reserves across the county. This offers the chance to get fit, keep healthy and take in plenty of fresh air as well as directly helping wildlife.

Volunteer work parties take place on nature reserves across Worcestershire and take place on both weekdays and weekends.

New volunteers are welcome to join any of the volunteering groups but the following are particularly in need of help:

Blackhouse Wood, nr Alfrick – 3rd Sunday of each month (keeping woodland rides open, clearing scrubby growth)
Chaddesley Woods, Bromsgrove – Every Thursday & the 3rd Sunday of each month ( general woodland work and clearing scrubby growth)
Ipsley Alders Marsh, Redditch – 1st Sunday of each month (keeping the boardwalk and nature trail clear and accessible, checking nest boxes and keeping pools clear for wildlife)
Penorchard Meadows, Stourbridge – 1st Monday of each month (clearing scrubby growth and wildflower surveys)
• Roving volunteers based at Lower Smite Farm, between Worcester and Droitwich (variety of work depending on which nature reserve is visited – coppicing, mowing, clearing scrub)
Tiddesley Wood, Pershore – last Wednesday of each month (coppicing, keeping woodland rides open, clearing scrub)
Wilden Marsh, nr Kidderminster/Stourport – Last Sunday and 2nd Tuesday of each month (checking nest boxes, keeping pools clear and ensuring access paths are maintained). A taster session for new volunteers is being held at Wilden on Sunday 15th January.

For those who enjoy the fresh air but are looking a bit more familiar than a nature reserve, the Trust is also looking for people to help in their wildlife garden at Lower Smite Farm between Worcester and Droitwich.

As well as being a haven for wildlife, the garden is also used to inspire visiting schoolchildren and families about our fantastic natural world. The garden team are hoping to find someone with experience of growing veggies either on a weekly or fortnightly Wednesday afternoon.

Scott continued “I can’t say that some of the practical work isn’t hard but we feel great when it’s done and it’s wonderful to see the impact you can make – both on the day itself and a few months later when you see how the wildlife is doing.”

Inspiring others

Volunteers are also needed to help inspire others whether leading Wildlife Watch groups, engaging with schools or helping at events.

In March this year the Trust will be launching its Bzzy Bee Challenge to schools across the county and are looking for more volunteers to join their team deliver bee-themed assemblies to schoolchildren. The team are particularly looking for new volunteers in the Worcester, Redditch, Evesham and Pershore areas.

The Trust runs two wildlife groups for young people and is in need of volunteers to help lead and assist activities at the monthly sessions between Worcester and Droitwich and in the Bewdley/Stourport.

Warm welcome & learn new skills

Scott commented “We don’t require any previous experience for most of our volunteer roles – just enthusiasm and a willingness to get involved.

Volunteering at events“Even for our roles to help inspire others, we don’t expect you to have a vast knowledge of wildlife – we offer training and opportunities to learn more – but we do ask that you’re a keen communicator and have preferably worked with children before.

“However, even without this experience, if you’d like to try your hand at this kind of work, why not get involved with our events where you’ll have a member of staff supporting you?

“With more than 400 volunteers, anyone who is thinking about joining in will receive a warm welcome, have the chance to make new friends and learn new skills.”

The Trust also has roles for volunteers interested in gardening for wildlife, office and research work, photography, film-making, poster design and more specialised roles. Anyone interested in volunteering in these or other areas should contact Scott.

Visit the volunteer opportunities webpage for more information, email Scott or call him on 01905 754919.

Tagged with: Volunteering