Creating a Warm Welcome at Cwm George, Dinas Powys
Cwm George and Casehill Woods are steeped in history and a wonderful site to explore, and within easy reach of Cardiff the site receives lots of visitors. To help us care for the site and engage with these visitors we are recruiting a whole host of new volunteer roles to the site this spring. There’s several roles to choose from with different tasks and time commitments, check them out below!
Woodland Working Group Members and Leader(s)
We’ll be keeping the woods well managed with the help of a Woodland Working Group (WWG). Having a band of willing volunteers means we can keep on top of conservation tasks such as coppicing, path clearance, fence maintenance and invasive species removal. This keeps the woods accessible for visitors and in the best condition for diverse native wildlife too. Volunteers from our other WWGs say they enjoy the exercise, the social aspect and contributing to maintaining a valuable habitat. The group will meet once or twice a month on a mixture of weekdays and weekends, but members do not have to commit to attending every single session.
Woodland Warden Volunteers
Wardens are more solitary creatures on the whole, they keep a finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the woods, reporting any concerns to the site manager who can take action. Wardens might walk the site daily on their usual dog walk or they might be a regular weekend visitor. They look out for structural damage to infrastructure and trees as well as reporting any evidence of anti-social behaviour. It’s important to note that we would not want any volunteer to put themselves in an awkward or confrontational situation. Reporting to the site manager, or even police as necessary, is our policy to maintain volunteer safety. Wardens also often enjoy an informal chat with visitors they see on their rounds, our existing wardens enjoy the excuse for regular woodland strolls and making a difference to their local woods.
Guided Walk Leader Volunteers
As well as on site interpretation boards and information online, we would like to reveal the magic of Cwm George to visitors by offering guided walks throughout the year. Walk leaders need a range of skills including good navigation and group management, and engaging communication skills to share their knowledge of the site, it’s wildlife and history. Volunteers’ existing skills and knowledge will be enhanced by training, and support from staff will be provided. This role is a great chance to get to know Cwm George really well and share that knowledge with fellow walkers.
We like to document our volunteering sessions, the impact of their work and our walk events. We also need photos of the woodland and its wildlife. We need skilled photographers who can offer some of their time to cover one or more of these aspects. Our photography volunteers are sent briefings for various tasks which they can accept, or decline based on availability and preference. It’s a really flexible role and great of you’ve got a fancy camera and need an excuse to take it out and about!
Anyone in the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan area is welcome to get involved with the Cwm George team, existing or new volunteers. The full details and application form will be up on our website very soon and we’ll be shouting about these opportunities on Facebook as well. Tell your friends and family if you think they might be interested!
Written by Martha Boalch, Volunteer Development Officer, Wales.
Any queries can be emailed to Marthaboalch2@woodlandtrust.org.uk