Volunteering at Magor Marsh, cr Richard Bakere
The wildlife and coutryside of Gwent are facing greater dangers than ever before. Sadly, pressures on our already fragile environment will only increase in years to come.
Gwent Wildlife Trust is a registered charity and voluntary organisation working to give the county’s wildlife a better future. If you have some spare time, YOU can help make a difference!
What do our volunteers do? The simple answer is lots of things, from surveying across the county to land management on our reserves, from data entry at the office to fundraising at home We have volunteers working in each of the main areas of the Trust’s work. Please click on the links for more information or download the latest list of volunteering opportunities.
Land management & conservation
Get closer to nature! Why not help to warden a nature reserve, or take part in practical work such as hedge laying or scrub clearance? Whatever the task, tools, training and supervision are provided. You do not have to be experienced – everyone does what they can.
The working party projects include such activities as bramble clearing, birch thinning, path maintenance, pond clearing, coppicing, and hedging. There are also always opportunities for specialist work like brush-cutting or chainsaw operations for volunteers with the appropriate qualifications, but everyone is welcome!
|Tuesday||Silent Valley||Ebbw Vale||Tom Eyles||07788 565459|
|Wednesday||Magor Marsh||Newport||Richard Bakere||07891 044077|
|Jan Kinchington||07564 478624|
|Second Sunday each month||Strawberry Cottage Wood||Abergavenny||John Faragher||01873 851562|
|First Sunday each month (Oct to May)||Allt-yr-Yn Reserve & Solutia Wetlands||Newport||Roger James||01633 215627|
Please contact Richard Bakere on 07891 044007 if you would like to volunteer at Henllys Bog, Coed Meyric Moel, Branches Fork Meadow, or Dan y Graig and he will let you know when work is taking place on those reserves.
Today’s children will play a vital role in the conservation of tomorrow’s world. Help them to appreciate the splendour of their countryside, so that they can safeguard it for their children.
Could you give talks to school children, help them create wildlife areas, or lead the way on guided walks? Maybe you could help with the development of education packs for teachers, or run a WATCH event for the under 16s – we reckon that the adults have as much fun as the children!
Other activities our education staff need help with includes preparing resources for school visits, photocopying, returning creatures to correct habitats when children have finished studying them, cleaning equipment and / or the centre, assisting children with their explorations, drawings, investigations etc. or imparting expertise to visitors – children and adult visitors whether on school visits or events.
The Education team also need help creating displays, leaflet distribution, creating posters, assisting with community visits out of normal office hours, particularly brownie groups etc., and documenting information to go onto website / newsletters. Creative volunteers may like to make props for us to use to assist with our education.
Please note that everyone who works with children must have a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check. This is free of charge and we would arrange this with you if it is required.
People & wildlife
Publicity - to get our message across, we need to tell people what we do. Press releases, posters, events promotion, blogs, articles, and leaflets all help increase awareness and encourage more people to care for our countryside. Artists, designers, and photographers can help us catch the public's eye. Or perhaps you could put up posters, write articles, distribute leaflets, or simply encourage your friends to support our work for wildlife.
Fundraising - put the FUN into fundraising! Fancy organising a barn dance, coffee morning, or jumble sale or maybe a sponsored bed push, bird watch, cycle ride, or fun run? How about organising a sales stall at fetes, arranging new sales outlets, or recruiting members at events? Perhaps you can bake cakes or grow plants to sell in aid of GWT? Or maybe you could help us seek sponsorship for projects? There are loads of fun fundraising ideas which you could arrange, or take part in, to help Gwent's wildlife.
Surveying - for those wildlife experts (or perhaps experts to be), we always need help with surveying, from nest box monitoring to invertebrate surveys. Some require some previous knowledge, some can be sorted out with training.
Events - GWT runs a serious of different sized events throughout the year and we're always on the lookout for extra pairs of hands to help with any of our events. Chores can include preparing the site (for example, strimming, clearing pathways, boardwalk maintenance), car parking attendants, refreshments, assisting with reen dipping and bug hunting, running stalls, selling raffle tickets, Admissions, helping with trails or tours around the reserve, erecting and dismantling gazebos, moving furniture and equipment. There's pretty much something for everyone and supplies of tea are always on hand.
Shepherds - now that we have established our flocks, we need help to look after them. Shepherds need to commit to visiting our flocks on certain days, doing a head count and giving the flock a visual once over looking for illness, distress, injury, etc.
Recruitment - these volunteers would be trained to recruit members at events and open days. We are also hoping to work at supermarkets and possibly include door-to-door canvassing. It would not be like other selling, but it is vital for GWT to have a good volume of members when trying to influence political actions, so you would be achieveing more than just additional income for GWT.
Public speaking - we are in the process of developing a number of talks about GWT and its work, and are in need of volunteers to give those talks to various external organisations. This gets the message out to more people, and also resul.ts in recruitment and additional funds. You would not need to prepare the presentations and would be coached on how to give the talks. Maybe this would be an activity that would appeal to you?
Managing GWT sales - you probably know that GWT produces a number of products that we sell to the public. These currently include books, clothing, Christmas cards, artists and barbeque charcoal. The more of these items we can sell, the less dependent we are on grants, so it would be a very worthwhile role to take on the management of this trading activity and develop it for events, possibly selling on-line and to find new markets for the products.
Campaigning - help us protect wildlife and the coutryside by promoting awareness, lobbying MPs, and influencing organisations for the good of the environment. If you are good communicator and organiser, we want to hear from you.
Administration - office skills are vital to the efficient running of GWT and there is always much to be done. If you can help with general clerical work or have a penchant for computers, we will find space for you in the office.
Special skills - you'll be surprised how useful your own special skills can be! Are you a mechanic who could help maintain GWT's machinery, or an illustrator who can add flair to our publicity material? Are you a computer whizz, solicitor, accountant, carpenter, or writer? Whatever your area of expertise, we will almost certainly have a use for it! Let your skills work for wildlife.
Management - the running of GWT relies on the experience and advice of volunteers. Effective management is crucial to the success of any organisation and GWT values input from a variety of backgrounds. Maybe you have skills to bring to one of GWT's committees, or perhaps you would like to be considered for an Honorary Officer post such as Treasurer, Chairman, or Secretary?
Countryside Guardians - Calling all botanists, bird-watchers, and bug hunters! GWT needs to know what lives in Gwent’s countryside. By acting as a watchdog on new developments, and working with Council planning departments, we help ensure the survival of Gwent’s precious wildlife. Could you help us update our wildlife sites registers, or tell us about new habitat havens?
To take things further, please complete, without any obligation, our Volunteer Enrolment Form (see below). Fill it in and email it to Val Jackson, our Volunteer Coordinator. Val will be in touch once she has processed the information. Or to chat with Val about any aspect of volunteering, you can contact her on 01291 689240 or 07807 318073 or you can email her on email@example.com.