Aug 05 2020

Hello and an update from your North England Regional Director

To all our dedicated volunteers across northern England – this is just a short ‘hello’ to check in, catch up and say how much we’re looking forward to volunteering gradually retuning in the Trust.

I hope you and your families are all well and weathering these stormy times.

 You may not have been able to get out volunteering for the Trust but I imagine most of you, like me, will have taken time out in the woods and found solace from being amongst nature. Woodlands have been my source of energy, inspiration and saviour – used daily in lockdown to help keep the kids entertained (and sometimes to escape from them!)

More and more people have been making this connection – appreciating trees, woods and nature on their doorstep – valuing the things that really matter. We need to harness this interest, because despite all the current issues we are still facing a nature and climate crisis. A Green Recovery is vital, so it is pleasing to see the wide support for this agenda.

My focus has been on trying to keep everyone fit and well, our woods safe and welcoming, and our finances secure. Our own woods are facing unprecedented demand on them. Although it’s great to see more and new visitors, sadly they aren’t all considerate of the natural environment, so our teams have their hands full.

Some of you will have resumed your roles, but those of you who are part of Woodland Working Groups, or who carry our public facing roles like guided walk leaders or speakers, are still not able to recommence with volunteering. Our National Volunteering Team is working hard behind the scenes, comparing best practice in these Covid-19 times with other charities, and ensuring that all volunteering can be phased back in safely. We look forward to welcoming you back as soon as we can.

If you have any queries about volunteering or are feeling a bit out of touch, please feel free to contact your volunteer manager, or Claire Green, our Volunteer Development Officer.

Thanks so much for your continued interest and support. Stay safe and well – and do get out into the woods when you can!

Alistair Crosby, Regional Director, North England

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