Glen Finglas volunteers meet for well-deserved end of season bash
Last Friday, Gwen Raes, our Estate Ranger at Glen Finglas, held her annual end of season bash for her volunteers. Most are Woodland Engagement Volunteers, who are the welcoming face to the public of the Woodland Trust at our Gateway Visitor Centre, but there are other roles, such as Adopt a Path volunteers. I was delighted to be invited along to share news from across the Trust and in Scotland with volunteering. Gwen always makes everyone feel so welcome with a really well-planned day, her own home baked cakes, and a delicious lunch. I am always so impressed with what a wonderful and mutually supportive team Gwen and her volunteers are!
Gwen has written a short piece about the day:
As volunteer manager at Glen Finglas l had the pleasure of bringing all our volunteers together to mark the end of the season. This is becoming an annual tradition where we celebrate their impressive contribution to Glen Finglas. It is equally an opportunity to listen to their feedback and experiences, as the majority of them carry out their role alone and it re-connects in them with the bigger picture of running the estate and with each other.
It was an amazing day of sharing their accomplishments which included more than 1,000 volunteer hours in 2018. This ranges from manning the Visitor Gateway to assisting with events and ecological monitoring work, checking path conditions, shadowing staff and participating in practical conservation work through the woodland working group.
Matilda also gave us the bigger picture of what is happening with Woodland Trust volunteering across the UK and in Scotland and what’s in store in 2019. This was followed by a walk to a delicious (saying so myself!) campfire lunch, which naturally led into hearing their experiences, suggestions and recommendations. As it was a dry day, this all happened outside whilst watching buzzards flying into the wood and seeing spawning brown trout….. so it’s probably unnecessary to say that this was enjoyed by all parties involved and re-fuelled them for a well-deserved break.
Gwen will be holding a meeting for Glen Finglas volunteers at the start of the 2019 season for the volunteers, and plans to recruit some more volunteers for next year.
Scotland Volunteering Development Officer