Speaker Spotlight: Mike Goosey, North Wales border
Mike spoke to me from his home backing on to the woods which he helped to plant in his village.
Haroldswood is a 1.5 acre woodland. The site was formerly pasture and it is named after the donor of the land. It was designed and planted with native broadleaved trees and shrubs with the help of the local community in 2000 as part of the Woods On Your Doorstep Scheme. Mike did in fact submit his own design for the new woodland at the time.
Through his involvement in the development of the new woodland Mike became woodland warden at Haroldswood. In 2011, the tree theme continued as Mike bought 11 acres of grassland on the Welsh border and planted it with 4000 native trees in 4 weeks. “In the last year or two it has really started feeling like a real woodland. Along with the meadow areas it makes a wonderful habitat.”
In 2011, Mike joined the volunteer speaker program, a national network of volunteers who deliver talks about the Woodland Trust to a variety of groups. Their services are requested via our website and Sarah Locker, who currently manages the network, links up the speaker with the talk.
Sarah says, “Our volunteer speakers are an asset to the Trust as they are able reach out to a whole variety of audiences and speak to them face to face, sharing knowledge of and enthusiasm for our work to support native woods and trees for people and wildlife. This often leads to members of the audience supporting our cause themselves, for instance by joining a campaign, volunteering for us, helping us to plant trees or signing up to become members.”
Mike particularly enjoys the adventure of visiting different village halls in remote locations and generating a healthy discussion with his audiences “It’s great fun, as with many things, the more you put into it the more you get out of it.” Mike was an Honorary Professor of Sustainable Bioenergy at the University of Nottingham so giving the talks is a great way to share his enthusiasm and knowledge with a wider audience.
Sarah comments, “Mike is a very competent and engaging speaker, drawing on his own experiences to give examples during his talks. Over the years he has kept his knowledge up to date using our resources and his own research. He is a great communicator too, always feeding back on how the talk has been received and letting the Trust know how he has managed to engage the audience, inspiring them to donate or become members, apply for tree packs or visit a local woodland.”
Written by Martha Boalch, Wales VDO.
With thanks to Mike Goosey and Sarah Locker.