Help with nature reserve maintenance: We have a 7.5 acre site with woodlands, meadows and ponds that need constant care and attention. No expertise needed! No experts turned away! Please get involved - many hands make light work of the site maintenance!
We have working parties, usually on the first Sunday of each month, from 10.00 to 12.30 breaking for a cuppa at about 11.15. The Next Working Party is on Sunday 5th May 2013.
We also have volunteer afternoons, where work can be done inside and outside, from 1.30 to 4 pm every Monday afternoon except bank holidays. There will therefore be no volunteer afternoon on Bank Holiday Monday 6th May.
Help with building maintenance: We need occasional help with boarding up or replacing windows, general DIY, fixing the alarm system, plumbing etc but also help with cleaning and tidying.
General help: This includes help with publicity, fundraising and event planning and organising.
Help with children’s activities: We have children visiting on open days such as the Spring Event and Environment Fair, and a half-term activity day for children. There is also a monthly Wildabout Nature Club during term-time. All children are accompanied by a parent or carer.
Occasional: Environmental expertise, legal advice, photography, green-building advice, web design ……
The most recent edition of our monthly "Volunteering - Keeping in Touch" is now available to view or download. Click Volunteering - Keeping in Touch to read or save the document to your computer.
Please note that the volunteering activities which took place in previous years are now accessible only by means of the menu on the left.
Please contact Sue Bird for further information - click on Contact Us to find out how to get in touch.
We are only able to keep the Nature Reserve maintained thanks to many volunteer hours. It goes without saying that our fundraising targets would need to be greatly increased if the Reserve was only maintained by paid professionals, so a big thank you to all our volunteers and we very much hope you will continue to support our efforts to maintain the reserve. Please click on a big thank you to feel our appreciation for over 2,000 hours of volunteer work this last year.
PROJECTS FOR 2013:
Building on the brilliant MADD "Make a Meadow" where we commenced management of 50% of our One Acre Meadow.
WHAT WE ARE ACHIEVING IN 2013:
Total reserve volunteering hours up to 17 June 2013 = 459.5 hours
Total classroom/other volunteering hours up to 17 June 2013 = 426.5 hours
This second total includes 58 hours of volunteering for the Spring Event.
Working Party Sunday 3th April
We have been doing much clearing up after our tree works,reusing the resultant wood in various ways - building log piles, repairing hedges and making stakes for dead hedging being some. Clearance of brambles still carries on. Areas where our spring bulbs are emerging have been identified. We have commenced regular butterfly monitoring, guided by one of our new volunteers. We have a continuing challenge to resolve the issue of water around Murky Pond. Indeed, the whole site is extremely wet.
We were delighted to welcome Waitrose (Whetstone) partners who are volunteering with us for a five week period.
Working Party Sunday 3rd March
A wonderful turnout of volunteers old and new and a bit of a father and sons session too - great that we have that appeal across the generations! So much achieved this bright but chilly morning – path down to the minibeast areas rediscovered, minibeast area two ready for action, overdue clearance of the old compost area and surrounds in order to have an area in which to store the anticipated arisings from the imminent tree work, snow damage dealt with, long discussions about Murky Pond. The snowdrops are out and bluebell leaves visible. We are grateful to The Skills Training Centre who provided a strimming course for us this month – four keen strimmers ready to keep the reserve well under control this summer!
The Monday sessions during February have been helping Annabel with display work as well as classroom reorganization and on the reserve, leaf clearance, leaf compost construction, hedge care, surveying, bramble control, more path clearance and running repairs in the building.
Working Party Sunday 3rd February
The snow-free and dry morning allowed for an energetic session - many bags of leaves for composting removed from the paths, the mini beast area given a spring clean, brambles cut back - and treats of chocolate cakes brought along by a volunteering family. What fun!
Working Party Sunday 6th January
Clearance of brambles and scrub from the side of the paths alongside the North Path followed by our annual seasonal thankyou to our volunteers with mulled wine and mince pies.
Monday Volunteering in January
A reorganisation of the classroom to give a brighter feel, new displays, creation of an electronic calendar, getting ready for our school visitors, clearing the leaves, cutting back brambles, repairs in the building, care of the hedges and much more.
PROJECTS FOR 2012:
Our plan for 2012 is to make sure that the newly planted hedge prospers and thrives.
WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED IN 2012:
Total reserve volunteering hours up to 03 December 2012 = 1475.5 hrs
Total classroom/other volunteering hours up to 03 December 2012 = 609.5 hrs (inc 4/3/12)
Working Party Sunday 2 December 2012 - mainly pond work
We were five volunteers and we worked very productively in sunny, icy weather. We removed large amounts of Canadian Pondweed from Skater Pond, thinned some of the iris but still need to do more, removed vegetation from behind the pond and took out the brambles that had grown into the pond.
We also took away the leaves and other vegetation for composting that had been removed from Bottle Pond on the Wednesday and raked up the leaves on the paths around the ponds.
Finally, we lifted up the edge of Murky Pond's liner to relieve some of the pressure from the underground water system.
Regrettably, the working party on 4 November had to be abandoned. The rain was just too determined!
Make a Meadow, Saturday 27 October from 9.45 to 3.30
Our one acre paddock is to be developed as a wildflower meadow and this was the focus of this year’s Make a Difference Day. As well as improving its conservation value, this will become a wonderful facility for our visiting schoolchildren to enjoy and we will learn more about meadow management too!
Thirty-three people came along and gave their all on this bright sunny day. We were split into teams to mow the grass and collect it, to take down old fencing and take it to form the new composting area, where another team was busy. The largest team had the very hard job of clearing scrub and cutting down saplings. Another busy team collected autumn leaves. By now the two large compost bins will be up and running, with grass from the mowings and leaves from the collections. There is still a lot more to do, but it was a real triumph of a day, with everyone feeling that they had achieved something really worthwhile. As you can easily imagine our hardworking teams were extremely grateful for the wonderful lunch laid on by our catering team! Water and cuppas were provided at strategic points to keep us going during the day. We all sat down at the end of the day with a nice hot drink and some very tasty tea-cake (any chance of the recipe, Linda?!).
Here are four clickable pictures from Make a Meadow. Let your mouse loiter over a picture to see its caption and then click the picture to see a much bigger version in another window.
Working Parties, June 9th and June 10th
This was a tremendously useful weekend, with, amongst other things, work done by one team mowing the paddock and putting the cuttings on the compost heap and another team making miraculous repairs to the fence along by the meadow.
A youth group with LWT supervising, planted the whips remaining from our Woodland Trust Community Pack. We now have a small copse of crab apple trees together with a small copse of hazel trees that we will plan to keep coppiced.
Working Party, March 4th
Despite the steady rain a stalwart band worked through the whole session, mulching, bramble clearance, hedge maintenance. During February, a corporate team of volunteers completed the planting of our new hedge and also cut through the last section of the Woodland Walk - the Scottish trees - rowan, pines, larch, birch and aspen. Monday team getting the classroom ready for visits and displays, watering hedge, sipping tea and Charles completes the ditch clearance.
Working Party, February 5th
Arrived in snow and to hear the sound of running water in the centre. Brilliant team work with mops and broom, a stopcock that (almost) works and wonderful SOS tape effected a resolution until the Monday team sorted out a permanent solution. Monday teams working on tool maintenance, tool catalogueing, building repairs and reserve works.
Working Party, January 8th
The first of the new year, focusing on clearing the four trees that the winds of the previous week had felled. A marvellous turnout of fifteen volunteers achieved all we set out to do.