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Conservation volunteering

The Muckin4Life is a national campaign that aims to increase the number and diversity of people involved in conservation volunteering, while also increasing awareness and understanding that being active outdoors, whether in urban green spaces or the natural environment, has physical and mental health benefits.

Here in South Gloucestershire we are looking to engage families, including grandparents and children and young people, in new volunteering opportunities through our network of friends groups, local conservation groups and partner organisations including the Avon Wildlife Trust, TCV, Cotswolds Conservation Board and the Forest of Avon.

With assistance from DEFRA, the campaign will be further supported by encouraging existing environmental volunteers to get their families and peers involved in conservation volunteering by promoting the benefits of being part of such a cause.

We will be encouraging families and community based groups to undertake a range of outdoor volunteering activities (scrub clearing, monitoring species, creating habitats) which will encourage local residents to get active outdoors. This will in turn engage people who would like to help their local community and as result increase the number of conservation volunteers.

Volunteering

Below is a range of contacts that should help you find the type of volunteering work that you are looking for:

The Wildlife Trusts The Wildlife Trusts are the largest grouping of charitable organisations in the UK concerned with the conservation of the UK’s natural world. We work closely with Avon Wildlife Trust at Willsbridge Mill and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (who manage Lower Woods).

The Conservation Volunteers Volunteering opportunities with TCV include the midweek and weekend conservation group, training in conservation skills (e.g. hedge laying, coppicing, dry stone walling). We work closely with South Gloucestershire TCV, The Tree Life Centre at Grimsbury Farm and Avon TCV based at the Create Centre.

Cotswold Conservation Board The Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty can offer some stunning landscape in which to work in. The conservation board supports the Cotswold voluntary wardens who undertake a wide range of conservation tasks, lead guided walks and improve public rights of way. They have two groups that operate in South Gloucestershire.

Ramblers Association The Ramblers Association welcome volunteers to lead walks, carry out practical footpath protection work including clearing undergrowth and overgrowth, repair stiles and bridges and to monitor planning applications that include public rights of way.

Royal Society of the Protection of Birds The RSPB works for a healthy environment rich in birds and wildlife. It depends on the support and generosity of others to make a difference. You too can join over 9,000 volunteers in helping the RSPB with campaigns, raising awareness at local events, fundraising, farmland bird survey work, planting reeds, feeding garden birds and carrying out garden bird surveys. You do not need to be a bird expert to be involved.

The National Trust Looking for an exciting and interesting way to make a difference in conserving the environment and the UK’s heritage? Whatever your interests or skills, there’s a number of properties in the area, including Dyrham Park, where you could make a real difference. From gardeners to stewards there are so many ways to help the trust.

Friends groups

We are very lucky to have many dedicated volunteers who have formed friends groups or local conservation groups. Many of these help look after sites owned or managed by the council.

If you are interested in collecting litter there’s a growing network of people that are listed on the Litter Action website, again just enter your postcode. We offer advice and support to groups who would like to collect litter.

For further information on conservation volunteering or help in finding a local friends group please contact usĀ or send a text message to 07950 080 111 starting your message with muckin4life

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