|A January gathering of outdoor volunteers at Hinchingbrooke Country Park|
We added up our volunteer effort for last financial year and it came to 3433 man/days. This figure just includes our outdoor volunteers and our Voluntary Wardens. In an average month we have over 120 man-days of voluntary effort at Paxton Pits alone and Hinchingbrooke Country Park has a similar figure. Smaller sites like the Nursery, Holt Island, Coneygear Park and Barford Road Pocket Park all have volunteer programs that local people can get involved in.
This year we are including the invisible volunteers who work in the background on committees and so on. There's a bit of guesswork involved, but, with two months still to go, we have had 4883 Volunteer Days for the financial year 2011 -2012 !!
From the volunteer's standpoint, it's good to get involved for social reasons, and simply getting out and about has its benefits in terms of physical and mental health. From the staff point of view, we simply couldn't manage without our volunteers. Each site has its own Friends Group and the one at Paxton Pits Nature Reserve is by far the biggest, with over 2,500 members.This is a powerful advocacy tool but also a great fund-raising organisation which provides the core of our volunteer effort.
|Jocelyn Gale (in green) leading a botany walk.|
In January, Jocelyn left to go to Australia for 3 months and handed over her role to Nicki Papworth who will be assisted by Mavis Battey. We are extremely grateful to Jos for all the work she has done for the Voluntary Wardens and for the reserve and we will make a big fuss of her when she comes back!