Student volunteers help out at Den Wood
Ross Watson, Site Manager for the north of Scotland, has updated us on happenings in Den Wood:
SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College) Craibstone Countryside Management HNC students have spent the last four Wednesdays at Den Wood in Aberdeenshire, undertaking a variety of tasks. Each week sees different students leading on tasks from gorse control to path repairs, learning about health and safety, budgeting, time and volunteer management as part of an assessed section of their course. As well as the HNC student visits, the degree students visit to discuss project planning and management, looking at the recent work undertaken on the paths and infrastructure across the wood, and the Colleges Rural Skills group had an outing helping with the gorse control too.
This is the third year of the initiative between Woodland Trust and SRUC. Over this time, the groups have helped with significant areas of gorse removal, path repairs, non native tree regeneration removal, and step construction. Den Wood is one of three Scottish Peoples’ Postcode Lottery (PPL) showcase sites, demonstrating the value of the funding from them. This work with the college raises awareness of this partnership, and the importance of PPL to the improvements the site has seen.
The volunteers at Den are ‘untasked’, in that they aren’t registered (tasked) Woodland Trust volunteers. As there is a high turnover of students participating, it wouldn’t be worthwhile signing them up with us. Instead the site manager runs each activity as an ‘event’, in the same way as we run our public events. They are volunteers nevertheless and we are incredibly grateful for the time they give us, and hopeful that their experience with us is beneficial in their career journey.