Thank you to our working groups!
Why do you volunteer? Likely it is because you love the great outdoors and supporting the aims of the Woodland Trust. This goes without saying but there are lots of other benefits too, including making some great friends along the way and sampling some fantastic homemade cake (well, let’s be honest – cake is always a perk during those well-deserved tea breaks!)
Recently, I had the pleasure of spending time with one of the South East’s woodland working groups, to find out more about how they came to exist and about the work that they still take part in. Over twenty years ago, Linda and Mick Fitter (now volunteer Wardens), were instrumental in the Trust’s acquisition of Butcher’s Wood in Sussex, when they heard it was under potential threat from developers. As the saying goes ‘from tiny acorns mighty Oak trees grow’ and it is truly a wonderful sight to see that, many years later, some of the original working group that they set up remains, now also welcoming new members of the community to come along and help preserve this important ancient woodland site, with the support of Site Manager, Phil Truluck.
I joined the group on the last volunteering day of their current coppicing season and was thrilled to see how well everyone worked together and enjoyed each other’s company, not to mention the transformation of the area over just a few hours. As well as the practical skills and knowledge they bring and develop, working group volunteers are truly an inspirational group of ambassadors for the charity. Let me take this opportunity on behalf of all at the Woodland Trust to thank everyone who has ever wielded a set of loppers or brandished a saw to keep our woodland looking lovely and ensuring a future for both trees and the wildlife that depends on them.
Long may you reign.
Anna Claxton, Volunteer Development Officer (South East)