Central region volunteers- A message from central region director Toby Bancroft
Dear Central region volunteers
Firstly, I hope this message finds you all well, in such unprecedented times and real uncertainty. I wanted to say hello, touch base and let you know where we are with the resumption of volunteering. With over 790 active roles being undertaken in the region, I cannot say enough how much we value volunteering, and the time you all give, it makes a huge difference.
Back in the depths of lockdown, we were in a position of having to pause our volunteering activity, but as we now head towards some sort of normality, we are restarting some areas of volunteering. Certain roles, specifically those that are carried out alone or in pairs, for example wardens and monitors, have already resumed their activity, with full risk assessments and health and safety guidance in place and as long as the volunteers themselves feel comfortable to do this. Over the coming month we can also begin to plan guided walks run by volunteers, again only running these when we can ensure the safety of everyone on the walk.
For those that get more involved in groups, such as woodland working group members, we are working hard with our national teams to enable ways of recommencing safely, and in line with government guidelines. Please bear with us, and if there are any questions, or you need support please do not hesitate to contact your volunteer manager, or our regional Volunteering Development Officer, Amanda Brookes: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I just wanted to highlight one area of volunteering over the past few months that has been able to go ahead, and has had a huge impact. A big thank you to the Observatree volunteers who have been out and about actively surveying some of our woods in Essex and Hertfordshire for Oak Processionary Moth. This is vital work to help us identify the nests that we are required to remove. Observatree volunteers have been active at 11 woods in the central region, including Merry Hill, Harrocks Wood, Pot Kiln Wood and Hoddesden Park and their specialist knowledge has really helped the Site Managers out. The other is a big thank you to those relief volunteers who took up the task of keeping an eye on the estate during lockdown.
If you are unable to volunteer at the moment, I do hope you are able to get out and find the time to relax and enjoy the woods and nature that plays such an important role in our health and wellbeing. One thing the recent lockdown has shown us is how important the outdoors and nature is to us, and as we continue to return to some form of normal, climate change and nature remain a key focus for us. The role of woods and trees has never been more important, and between us, we can make a difference. I’m sure we all look forward to being able to be fully back up and running in the not too distance future.
Until then, thank you for sticking with us, and for your continued support, we cannot do what we do without you.
Feature image from Pexels