Nicknamed the volcons (with a nod to Star Trek fans), our group of conservation volunteers are boldly going where many have been before, but too few and not so recently!
With 110 acres to manage, and only a small staff, some of the estate became quite overgrown, and a lot of the maintenance needed to keep the woodland, lakes and parkland at its best just hadn’t happened.
Following a recruitment drive back in 2014, a growing group of volunteers has joined under the expert guidance of environment consultant Andrew Pennington and are restoring the grounds to their former glory.
Completing the footpath through the shrubbery was the first of the jobs undertaken by the volcons. Since then they have been busy on a schedule to restore the lakes, plant new trees, replace fences, rebuild dry stone walls … the list goes on! You can see them in action in this video made to show the work they are doing to complete their Awards for All funded Wind in the Willows project.
A number of the volcons have helped with the annual environment day visit of students from Bede Academy in Blyth, working alongside them as they got to grips with pathlaying, fence building, copicing, building habitat boxes and other tasks. They also support outreach groups and other volunteering days.
The strength of this group lies in the wide variety skills and experience they bring as brick layers, teachers, draughtsmen, carpenters and the like and how they share their skills as they work alongside other volunteers and students just starting out on their careers.
You can read more about what they and other volunteer groups have been up to:
If you are interested in becoming a conservation volunteer please contact our volunteer co-ordinator Jean Haldane or call 01434 673 248.