malcolm in the old yellow tractor
Malcolm Railton is one of our newest recruits, to take advantage of new volunteering opportunities to work outdoors as a conservation volunteer or ‘volcon’ as they have become know.

A retired police officer, his daily life has changed from working in vice, firearms and murder, to building footpaths and dams.

He loves it, “It’s like being a child – getting to play in the mud and water, covered in clarts!

“It’s close to home and it ticks a lot of boxes for me: it’s teaching me things I wanted to learn, it’s useful and it’s good for Minsteracres.”

On his first day, Malcolm was introduced to the old yellow tractor. “Andy asked if I could drive a tractor. I said no. Next thing I know there I was at the wheel.”

Like Andrew Pennington, our environmental consultant who manages the volcons, as they are affectionately known (with a nod to Trekki fans), Malcolm is passionate about making sure that old skills are not lost, “Tradional skills have gone out of fashion, but they’re essential for the future.

“It’s good for you as well – mentally and physically.”