Volunteers offer a warm welcome in Conwy
In 2017, volunteer guided walk leaders helped the Trust to run three guided walks in and around our Conwy woods, attracting a total of 55 visitors. In spring, walkers explored the Iron Age hillfort at Coed y Gopa and found out about the unusual display of spring flowers, including the stinking hellebore. In July, experienced mountain guide Rob led a group on a challenging day out in and around the ancient woods of Parc Mawr and followed ancient trackways out onto the rugged hills above. In October, volunteers helped to marshal a big group, including a troop of local girl guides, to discover the nocturnal wonders of Coed y Gopa, home to the elusive lesser horseshoe bat.
The Conwy Walks Programme is promoted by Cerdded Conwy, a group of dedicated volunteers, who promote a great range of walks across the county. Guided walks are popular: they are sociable, informative and a great way to keep fit and healthy in the outdoors. For the Trust, they are a great way to attract new visitors or give regular visitors a new insight into the hidden treasures of our woods and the hard work that goes into managing them. Some walkers go on to support our campaigns or to join as members, some are keen to volunteer but all go away with an understanding or passion for trees and woods that is just that little bit deeper.
Across the Trust, we are working hard to make our ‘top 250’ most accessible and appealing woods even more welcoming to visitors as part of the Welcome Sites programme. This will see some woods get a bit of a facelift, to ensure we leave a good first impression. This will also involve offering events and engagement activities and there is potential to host more guided walks with the support of our volunteer walk leaders. Come along and join a walk to see what it’s all about http://www.cerddedconwywalks.org/
Karen Fisher – Volunteer Development Officer – Wales