Jun 28 2019

Update from Ross Kennerley South West Regional Director

Dear South West volunteer

The time is now! The importance of trees and woods is now centre stage – they are clearly a part of the solution to the joint threats of climate change and a diminished natural environment. While the issues are daunting the Woodland Trust, with your essential support, is in the right place to respond.

As Regional Director I have the privilege of ensuring that our work across the South West is as effective as it can be. This involves ensuring that the management of our 200 woods, our landowner advisory work, our campaigns, our publicity, our fundraising, our political influencing and our work with volunteers and members is clear and strong. I’m looking for opportunities for us to achieve more – and removing blockages that might get in the way.

The Committee on Climate Changes identification of the need to raise woodland cover from 13% to 17% nationally is a game changer. We are now working across the SW, with those who share our aims for increased tree cover, to see what this increase might look like in our landscapes and how we might achieve delivery against a back drop of Ash dieback. This new focus on woodland creation, alongside a continued recognition of the importance of restoring and managing our exiting woodlands, makes this a time of real opportunity.

At recent volunteer events some of you expressed interested in how the Trust works in the South West. The Broadleaf South West magazine and Whittle gives you a regular insight into our work with our activities supported by a team of 22 staff. Recent arrivals include Robin Offer (leading on our woodland management contracts), Heather Elgar (leading our influencing work with councils and public agencies), Sam Manning (as assistant site manager for Devon) and Susan Hollins as our  Membership Officer in the South West

We are all home based with about half the team working on managing and restoring our woodlands and the rest picking up our work with landowners, councils, partners, public and volunteers. Details of the team are in the diagram below.

If you would like a larger copy of this please e mail amandabealing@woodlandtrust.org.uk

Alongside the staff there are, of course, you the volunteers There are now 479 volunteers doing 259 roles with a number of you undertaking multiple roles. These roles range from woodland management through to campaigning to save woods under threat. Here are the range of volunteer roles in the SW

Volunteer Activity Region Number
Admin South West 2
Advisory Group Member South West 2
Ancient Tree Lead Verifier South West 1
Ancient Tree Verifier South West 39
Conservation Researcher South West 1
Councillor Tree Champions South West 3
Events Volunteers South West 15
Guided Walk Leaders South West 5
Historical Researcher South West 1
Lead Volunteer South West 1
Local Media Volunteers South West 2
Photographer South West 7
Site Based Volunteer South West 3
Super Campaigner – Online South West 1
Threat Detectors South West 26
Tree Health Champion South West 28
Tree Health Champion Lead South West 1
Volunteer Speakers South West 12
Warden South West 73
Wildlife Monitoring South West 6
Wildlife Researcher South West 35
Woodland Creation Champion South West 8
Woodland Working Group Lead South West 28
Woodland Working Group Member South West 229

This demonstrates the range of skills you bring to the Trust – without which we wouldn’t achieve much of what we do. If you are interested in finding about opportunities to expand your volunteering with the Trust do make contact with Amanda who will be pleased to support you

On a closing note just a big thanks to all of you who took part in the Investing In Volunteers assessment. Securing this award was a great recognition of your work and commitment – and it told us what we are doing well and where we can make improvements to support your work

As always I welcome comments and observations from you – and if there are any issues about tree, woods and the Woodland Trust that you want to know about in the SW then please let me or Amanda know and we’ll look to cover them in future Whittle posts.

Ross Kennerley Regional Director South West


  • ChrisStephens

    Great to have this information Ross! Thank you so much. It gives an overall idea of what goes on the the SW Region
    Does the 229 “Woodland Working Group membership include the 28 Woodland Working Group leads, the 73 Wardens and the, 3 site based volunteers? In other words what is the total number of those working in the Trust’s woods in the Region.

    July 27, 2019 at 11:21 am

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