Oct 19 2020

Smithills Volunteer Update 19th Oct 2020

Hello all


Welcome to two new volunteers, Ella Standish and Katie Thompson, who have recently joined us, both as new members of the Wildlife Group.

COVID restrictions

It won’t have escaped your notice, I’m sure, that discussions are ongoing about Greater Manchester being put into Tier 3 restrictions. We assume that this will happen at some point, and therefore we haven’t changed any of the existing protocols around volunteer activity – i.e. that, until further notice, only roles where you can volunteer at home or outdoors on your own or with members of your household or support bubble can go ahead.

Reporting on 2020

It’s been a long year, with our plan for the volunteering programme altered significantly. Despite this, some groups have continued tasks – either during the brief period when restrictions were eased, or under the current restrictions where possible. The photography group have put together an online exhibition which will be unveiled very soon, and have provided us with stunning images throughout the year – our window onto the seasonal changes happening at Smithills and beyond. The wildlife group took on the task of filtering a decade of wildlife recording data and interpreting trends and patterns across the Estate. The oral historians tried valiantly to interview each other from home – testing new methods and seeing what might be possible. The history group (mainly Tony) carried on researching into the fascinating history of the Estate. Our new team of patrollers walked routes on the Estate to note any damage, and to litter pick. And our wardens helped us to keep up with repairs as the Estate got ever more popular, and also took on the task of helping us to steward the car park at Walker Fold.

Next year

We’re planning volunteer activity for 2021 at the moment. We will be planning with potential lockdowns in mind, and we are trying wherever possible to have a ‘plan B’ for each group (so, for example, if we were due to have training for a role, to be able to switch this to a virtual option) so that we can try to keep going wherever it’s possible.

Big Climate Fightback 2020

As with most things this year, the Big Climate Fightback looks a bit different! Mass tree planting can’t happen in a lot of areas (including ours) – but there are other ways people can get involved with this year’s campaign…



And Finally…

  • Those of you who are on Facebook – Roberta and Russ are hosting a bat walk via Facebook Live on Friday evening – join them as they head into Walker Fold to look for bats! All you need to do is go to our Facebook page (@WTSmithillsEstate), find the event and click ‘interested’, and you’ll be notified when they are live.

Hope everyone is well, and taking the opportunity to see the wonderful autumn colours around at the moment!

Vicky Entwistle- Engaging Communities Manager, Smithills

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