South East News Summer Update
It has been a while since we were last in touch. What a wet early summer we’ve experienced so far!
However, the rain hasn’t stopped our volunteers getting ‘back on the tools’ and it really feels like life beginning again as we welcome back our Woodland Working Groups. Volunteers at Brede High Wood, East Sussex have helped to clear space for a new equipment container and our Langley Vale group in Surrey have scheduled dates for the rest of the year, to tackle numerous tasks. This month also sees the return of Goldenrod removal, restoring the meadow at Warren Farm (also Surrey) and this year, with the help of a new leader volunteer, we have introduced group volunteering sessions, as well as corporate events.
At Joyden’s Wood in Kent, volunteers are supporting our site manager to engage the public about the Woodland Trust’s management approach to restoring this ancient woodland and our Hucking group have been spotting rare butterflies and more besides as a result of their conservation efforts in their orchard.
Sadly, our Volunteer Thank you and Networking Event at Langley Vale Wood was postponed due to unsettled weather but we are thrilled that it has been rescheduled for Thursday 2 September 2021 and we are still taking bookings! Please click here for further details. Our ‘bee bioblitz’ is also taking part as we speak and we hope to organise other in-person opportunities to meet soon. Thanks to everyone who has supported these events.
In other news, we have hosted our first networking session for woodland wardens, a role that has proved instrumental in giving our estate team additional eyes and ears on the ground during the pandemic. This session confirmed that at times it has been difficult for volunteers to witness the lack of respect some visitors show our woods and action is clearly needed- cue the arrival of the Woodland Trust’s new Love Your Woods campaign.
Launched imminently, the campaign will target those people who have discovered our sites during lockdown but don’t always behave responsibly – leaving litter, letting their dogs out of sight, mountain biking and so on. The aim is to help people understand why we are asking them to behave in a certain way – delivering positive action and education and, as such, we will be introducing a new Woodland Welcome role at some of our busier woods in the region, details of which will be shared on Whittle soon.
Finally, one of the truly great things that has resulted from the past eighteen months is the introduction of virtual events and webinars. Technology has helped to remove geographical barriers, bring volunteers together and provide a platform to share stories from the Woodland Trust estate and of the special wildlife that can be found there. We have enjoyed organising and hosting these events as well as hearing from the varied speakers which is why we have organised more! Please view our Event pages in Whittle for further details.
All that remains to be said is a huge thank you for your patience and commitment as we move forwards as a regional team – if you have any questions or comments related to your role, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
We wish you all warm and sunny summer holidays, bursting with colour and vibrance taken from our natural world!
Anna and Lucy
Volunteer Development Officers, South East