Well, when things are going fine, the weather is good, materials are on site and the first aid kit hasn’t been opened in a while it is easy to forget the value and importance of our volunteering force. Generally they turn out with a smile, chat and exchange the time of day and leave with a sense of satisfaction after a day cutting back scrub or pulling weed, knee deep in water. You would have provided them with the security blanket of a safety talk, tea and coffee mid morning and perhaps, if they are lucky, baked spuds from the fire. No wonder they turn up – probably wearing clothing supplied by you in a 4×4 which they will claim mileage for.
Of course, we know it’s slightly different. Yes, most do smile and chat a lot and yes, they do get baked spuds and a sense of achievement but what they give back to us is immeasurable. When the rain comes and there are materials to lug before the day even starts, that’s when we find out how committed they really are. A big thanks to anyone who has ever been called a volunteer!
Martin Reeves, Community Grasslands Officer