Dec 14 2018

Thanks for making 2018 great for woods and trees

Thank you so much for all of your support in 2018!

Our wonderful Woodland Trust volunteers help us to plant trees, protect woods and inspire people to enjoy the nature on their doorstep. You enable us to reach so much farther than we ever could without you, whether helping us to manage our woodlands, engaging with local communities or standing up for woods and trees. As you know, people lead busy lives and time is precious! Therefore we want to thank you for choosing to give your time to volunteer with the Woodland Trust. We highly value each and every one of our volunteers and appreciate all that you do for us!

 

Whereas many people like to stay indoors during this time of year, the winter months are when many Woodland Trust volunteers are out in our woods carrying out essential practical conservation work, or patrolling our sites in a wardening or monitoring capacity. Earlier this year I visited the Woodland Working groups in the central region and our hardy volunteers were out and about in all weathers. I visited a snowy Hillhouse Wood in Essex, attended an extremely wet and chilly session in Bramingham Wood, Luton and just recently a very breezy session at Haddon Fields in Northamptonshire. The dedication of our volunteers is remarkable. The Woodland Trust is grateful for the support of a number of volunteers at various Woodland Trust run and externally run events, at times this year during extremely hot and dry conditions!

 

Other volunteers are continuing the hard work that they have done for us over the past year, whether they are campaigning for us, spotting tree disease and threats to trees, helping us plant trees on our estate and recording ancient and veteran trees and lots more. And then there are all of our volunteers who are key to our organisational processes, supporting us as trustees, admin assistants, corporate support volunteers and trainers to name just a few. There are many more roles in addition to the ones mentioned here.

 

   

2018 update and plans for 2019

2018 has seen many changes in the way that volunteers are supported by the Woodland Trust. Thanks for sticking with us during this period of transformation! The launch of the new volunteer framework has provided us with a way to support volunteers in the way that they deserve. There’s still lots to be done as we move towards an ‘Investing in Volunteers’ accreditation and we will continue to work on improving the Woodland Trust volunteer experience.

 

In the central region there are 547 volunteers carrying out 672 roles. We ran brand new volunteer network events in 2018, and these took place in various locations over the central region (Belton Estate, Rutland Water, the Box Moor Trust and West Bergholt). These days were designed to be as interesting and useful to volunteers as possible, whilst at the same time providing us with a platform to thank our volunteers and celebrate everyone’s hard work. Most of the events involved an informative morning session, with Woodland Trust staff members providing useful updates, project talks and training. Following a nice lunch and networking, the group went out for a guided walk, with local experts. Feedback from volunteers who attended these events was very positive and a good time was had by all.

 

Do come along and see what these events are all about, four more are planned for 2019, these are on:

 

Saturday 2nd March – Hainault, Romford, Essex

Sunday 2nd June – The Great Fen, Cambridgeshire

Saturday 13th July – The Midlands

Saturday 14th September – Heartwood, Sandridge

 

Please email amandabrookes@woodlandtrust.org.uk if you’d like to book on to any of these. Also keep an eye on Whittle for more details.

 

   

 

In 2019 the Woodland Operations team in the central region will continue to support the Eastern Claylands Treescape project, which is a landscape-scale project covering parts of Suffolk and Essex. The aim of the project is to attempt to reverse the decline and loss of trees and hedgerows in the Eastern Claylands area and take early action to mitigate the loss of further trees through disease, such as chalara ash dieback.

 

Work will continue on the joint Woodland Trust and National Trust HLF-funded project at Londonthorpe and on the Belton Estate. This project utilises a multi-faceted approach, with the requirement to gain a full understanding of the cultural, historical and ecological aspects of the site. Public perception and insight into use of the Londonthorpe site will be incredibly useful and this information will allow us to determine the way in which the site is managed into the future.

 

New projects will begin at Hainault Forest in Essex and at Sherwood Forest, so watch this space!

 

There will be new volunteering opportunities associated with all of the projects mentioned above. Around the central region we are currently looking for ancient tree recorders, Nature’s Calendar recorders and woodland working group members. For more information about these roles and future opportunities visit:  http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer-with-us/opportunities/

Our site managers will continue to ensure that our woodlands are managed and maintained to the highest possible standards whilst the staff members focussing on communication and engagement will work on various sites to ensure that the visitor experience is the best that it can possibly be.

 

Get the low-down

Whittle will provide you with all of the latest news in your area and across the UK. All future events and training sessions will be listed on Whittle and please visit the library for a range of guidance documents, health and safety information and other useful and important bits of information.  If you have any feedback for us we’d love to hear from you, and you can provide this using the ‘feedback’ form on the home page.  Whittle is the main way in which we will be in communication with our wonderful volunteers, so please visit regularly.

 

Of course, you are welcome to contact your volunteer manager or me at any time, so please do get in touch if you have something that you’d like to talk through.

 

Thank you!

On behalf of the Central region Woodland Operations team we would like to say a huge thank you for all of your hard work in 2018. We look forward to continuing to work with you to achieve our Trust aim; ‘a UK rich in native woods and trees, for people and wildlife’.

 

We wish you a very splendid Christmas and a happy new year!

Sending you warmest Christmas wishes this festive season and for the year ahead.

 

Amanda Brookes (Volunteer Development Officer – Central)

 

Images by Amanda Brookes, James Tyson and Edwin Van Ek

 

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