What happened in your area last year?

What happened in your area last year?

We’re looking back at how our volunteers supported your area in 2019.

As a community engagement co-ordinator, I organise volunteering activities, so I see the positive impact they have on local people, wildlife and the environment. Last year saw our volunteers take part in more than 50 activities, from cleaning beaches and maintaining nature reserves to building benches and painting classrooms. Keep reading to find out how we’ve been supporting your area!

A year of volunteering 

Almost 500 members of staff gave up their time to lend a helping hand to good causes last year, volunteering for a total of 3,188 hours.

We supported 29 different community groups, organisations and charities across the region, and performed a range of activities. Here are just some of the things our volunteers got up to:

Protecting wildlife in Dorset

Throughout the year, volunteers visited Chesil Beach to help Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) carry out litter picks, with one group also building a bridge and putting up dormouse boxes at the trust’s Kilwood Nature Reserve.

Sally Cooper, corporate development officer at DWT, said: "The work carried out by all the volunteers has helped us to tackle important issues, such as marine pollution on Chesil Beach, while also improving one of our nature reserves for the benefit of wildlife and enjoyment of people – we are really grateful for their help."

Chesil Beach Clean
The result of a litter pick at Chesil Beach
Volunteers scything and clearing ditches at Biss Wood

Flood prevention in Wiltshire

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (WWT) needed help preparing its Biss Wood Nature Reserve for winter. In autumn, volunteers visited this site to clear ditches, scythe meadows and more. 

"Ditch clearance at Biss Wood has enabled our footpaths to hold more water, preventing them from flooding during what has been a wet winter so far,” said WWT’s project officer Matt Callaway.

"Several groups also spent time scything meadows to remove nutrients from the ground, allowing wildflowers to thrive."


Keeping farm animals healthy in Bath

Volunteers visited Bath City Farm numerous times last year, helping the charity to lay new pathways, build a ‘goat mountain’ and install a water efficient trough. 

Claire Davies, communications co-ordinator at the farm, said: "We now have clear pathways, which are stinging nettle free and safe for our visitors, a money-saving trough system for our sheep and a mountain for our goats to climb which will keep their hooves healthy.

"These activities allowed us to focus on delivering our core projects for people facing adversity. It costs £850 a day to run our charity – support from Wessex Water helps us to remain open and operating."

A water efficient trough made with the help of volunteers
A volunteer cutting down saplings at Westhay Moor Nature Reserve

Supporting habitats across Somerset

Over the past year, volunteers have carried out various activities at Somerset Wildlife Trust’s (SWT) nature reserves, including scrub-bashing and litter picking. 

Kirby Everett, head of communications and corporate relations at SWT, said: "Wessex Water volunteers have helped to keep our wetland and grassland habitats in good condition to ensure floral diversity for the benefit of birds, butterflies and other invertebrates. 

"The trust manages over 1,700 hectares across the county and we cannot do this alone – support from volunteers is vital."


Building fences for a farm in Bristol

We had a busy month at Lawrence Weston Community Farm, with two volunteering groups visiting the farm to help build new fences and gates.

"Without corporate support like this, we would struggle to re-build a lot of the farm’s infrastructure as we do not receive any funding," said Ian Fielder, volunteer co-ordinator at the farm. 

Volunteers building a fence at Lawrence Weston Community Farm

Find out more about how we’ve been supporting your area on our Community page or sign up to our newsletter for regular updates. 

Written by

Jennifer Staton

Jennifer Staton

Community engagement co-ordinator

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