Double celebration for Volunteers Week!
Celebrating Volunteers Week in South East Region
Volunteers Week runs from 1st – 7th June each year and we celebrated with two events in the South East. Our Volunteer Networking and Thank You Event in Kent on Saturday 2nd June was followed by a Volunteer Event at Warren Farm, Surrey on Sunday 3rd June.
The first event was an opportunity to thank our volunteers in Kent and East Sussex for all their hard work throughout the year. We spent the morning at the Woodland Enterprise Centre, Flimwell and enjoyed a thank you lunch and celebratory cake before heading to Bedgebury Pinetum (home of the National Pine Collection) for a guided walk. We were joined by Liz Randall, Volunteer Co-ordinator for the Pinetum and three of her volunteers. Liz showed us several different ‘avenues of trees’ around the Pinetum, ending with a lovely avenue of tall leylandii which provided welcome shade from the bright sunshine.
The day gave volunteers a chance to meet each other and talk about their different experiences. Despite working for the same organisation, some volunteers had never met so they really appreciated the opportunity. It was lovely teaming up with the Forestry Commission to celebrate Volunteers Week and we hope to do it again next year!
More volunteers joined us for a second event on Sunday 3rd June to remove Goldenrod – an invasive plant that competes with our native wildflowers at Warren Farm. The site is next to Nonsuch Park and is popular with dog walkers and runners. Removing the Goldenrod is hard work (as it is pulled up by hand) so we were really grateful to the volunteers who came and helped us on a sweltering day. We provided free bushcraft activities after lunch and the children enjoyed learning how to create a spark to light a fire and making dream catchers.
Some of the volunteers didn’t know about the Goldenrod before this event, whilst others had been pulling it up for many years. Eliminating Goldenrod from the site will enable butterflies, such as the Small Blue to flourish and record numbers have been recorded as a result.
We are holding more public volunteer events on Saturday 4th August and Sunday 2nd September and we also had two successful sessions with the Environment Agency and the local Park Run.
To find out more or to register for an event, visit our website